Kingfisher Airlines gears up for stake sale

Dec 14 2012, 09:23 IST
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SummaryCaps FII holding at 3% to maintain foreign holding at 49%

Preparing the ground for stake sale to a foreign airline, debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines has capped the FII investment limit at 3 per cent in order to maintain foreign holding in the carrier at the stipulated 49 per cent.

The airline, which is in talks with various foreign investors for equity infusion, has imposed the FII cap with a “view to keep the company’s capital structure in readiness for transactions that may be identified in the future for benefit of all stakeholders”. Overseas investors held 2.46 per cent stake in Kingfisher as on September 30, 2012. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in domestic carriers is currently capped at 49 per cent.

Kingfisher shares jumped 5 per cent to touch an upper circuit limit of Rs 17.27 on the BSE.

According to analysts, the 3 per cent cap will enable the foreign investor to buy as much as 46 per cent of the carrier.

According to a BSE filing by the company, the board of directors of the company has been deliberating various alternatives to improve the financial position in the best interest of all stakeholders. “In this connection, it has been advised that a fresh infusion of capital by a financial or strategic, Indian or non-resident investor is a possible alternative,” it said. Appropriate steps are being undertaken to intimate the Reserve Bank of India and to seek consequent measures and any other approvals that may be considered necessary to give full effect to this decision, it said.

On Tuesday, Kingfisher had said it was in “discussions with various investors, including Etihad Airways, for equity investments”. The carrier’s statement came in response to reports that it was to ink a deal for offloading 48 per cent stake. “However, no agreement has been reached either with Etihad or any other airline,” it said.

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