20 July 2019: The committee of creditors (CoC) to Jet Airways approved raising interim loans of up to Rs 70 crore to keep the grounded airline alive for three months. Bankers also approved the contours of a fresh bidding process for the carrier, fresh initial bids for which would be sought from potential investors Saturday.
The funds will be used to maintain aircraft and also pay some vendors to keep some critical services like IT systems alive, said a person close to the development.
The lenders also confirmed the appointment of Grant Thornton’s Ashish Chhawchharia, an interim resolution professional appointed by India’s bankruptcy court, as the resolution professional for the airline.
The court last month admitted an insolvency plea from Jet’s top lender State Bank of India, appointed Chhawchharia, and directed fast-tracking of the insolvency process.
“The model timeline to float expressions of interest is 70-75 days. It has been fasttracked to 30 days,” said a person close to the development.
Before Jet landed in bankruptcy court, its lenders had carried out a bidding process but failed to get a single decisive bid for the airline.
“The bidding criteria have now been simplified. The potential investor has to have a net worth of Rs 1,000 crore or assets under management of Rs 1,000 crore and investible funds worth Rs 1,000 crore. Many other requirements, such as five years of experience for a potential airline investor, have been removed,” said a person in the know.
Potential bidders have 15 days to respond to the initial bids. The RP plans to shortlist them in another 15 days.