Mumbai: Lenders of Jet Airways have invited initial bids to buy as much as 75 per cent of the cash-strapped airline. The potential bidder should have a net worth of at least Rs 1,000 crore ($144 million) in the preceding financial year, or at least three years of experience in the airline business. Bids should be submitted by April 10.
As per the invitation of bids made on Monday by State Bank of India, strategic investors could be non-resident Indians, foreign nationals or persons of Indian origin.
The document inviting bids has set Rs 2,000 crore as the minimum asset under management in the case of financial investors or even those with Rs 1,000 crore available for investment in the previous fiscal could bid.
Private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds are also eligible for placing their bids, which have opened on Monday.
The bid document also says that the number of investors in a consortium bidding for the company is limited to three with shareholding of an individual member not being less than 15 per cent.
Shares of Jet Airways closed 3 per cent higher at Rs 264. The airline requires Rs 8,500 crore to get back to be in shape.
The government is also keen on rescuing the airline as the country gets into election mode.
With jobs of 23,000 employees at stake, the Modi government does not want the second largest airline in the country to collapse.
Lenders led by State Bank of India said last week that "other options" may be considered if efforts for the stake sale don't produce the desired result, without elaborating on what the other options.
The bank group had agreed to take a 50.1 percent stake at an effective cost of Re 1 through the issuance of 11.4 crore new shares in an attempt to bail out the carrier.