Etihad raises $500M; to invest around $80M in Jet Airways

Gulf carrier Etihad today said it has raised USD 500 million along with its airport services business and five equity partners from the international market for capital expenditure and fleet expansion, among others.

The airline, in a release said, the funds were mopped up through a series of road shows held across Abu Dhabi, London and Dubai.

Of the total funds raised, while Etihad Airways, Etihad Aiport Services, Air Berlin and Alitalia each would get 20 per cent share, Indian carrier Jet Airways would get 16 per cent, the airline said.

The remainder would go to Air Serbia and Air Seychelles.

The funds raised by the transaction will be used largely for capital expenditure and investment in fleet, as well as for refinancing, depending on each individual airline's needs, Etihad said.

The funds have been raised through a special purpose vehicle, EA Partners IBV.

Etihad holds 24 per stake in Jet Airways, which it had bought in the carrier after Indian government allowed overseas carriers to invest up to 49 per cent in domestic airlines in 2012.

"The success of this transaction is a major endorsement of the shared vision and strategies of these businesses by the global financial community," Eihad Airways president and chief executive James Hogan said.

A key element of Etihad's equity partner strategy is creating a total which is greater than the sum of its parts, a grouping which can work together to improve revenues, reduce costs and uncover exciting new business synergies, he said.

The airline has already been able to identify significant opportunities together, whether that be in shared IT platforms, joint fleet procurement or shared training costs, he said.

Commercial fund-raising is no different, Hogan said, adding, "Our proposed transaction is simply the next logical step in our growing partnership and underpins its strategic importance." 

The transaction marks the first time Etihad Airways and its partners have raised funds together.

To date, Etihad Airways has already raised in excess of USD 11 billion from more than 80 financial institutions, to help fund its expansion strategy, the airline said.

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