Lenders to Jet Airways (India) Ltd have yet again extended the deadline to bid for the bankrupt carrier.
The airline’s Committee of Creditors has now set a deadline of July 21 for bidders to submit a resolution plan. The earlier date was July 11.
The extension is to facilitate more time for due diligence, physical verification and documentation process for the potential bidders amid the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, said a person privy to the development.
Jet Airways, once India’s largest private airline, has been going through an insolvency resolution process for more than a year. On March 12, Jet’s lenders sought two more months for insolvency resolution. Subsequently, the National Company Tribunal extended the time to find a buyer for Jet by 90 days until June.
Last month, four entities were shortlisted from those who submitted an expression of interest to acquire the airline.
The four lesser-known bidders included the UK-based financial advisory firm Kalrock Capital, which submitted an expression of interest with Murari Lal Jalan; Canadian entrepreneur Siva Rasiah and Kolkata-based Alpha Airways.
A consortium of Flight Simulation Technique Centre Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai-based Big Charter Pvt. Ltd and Abu Dhabi-based Imperial Capital Investments LLC was the fourth bidder.
The bidders have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Jet’s resolution professional, Ashish Chhawchharia.
Last month, lenders also approved the sole bid by Canadian investment firm Brookfield Asset Management Inc. to buy the two floors of space at Jet’s office in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex for Rs 490 crore ($65 million).
Jet was grounded on April 18, 2019 after running out of cash and failing to secure funds from investors and lenders. The carrier and its lenders have been searching for new investors ever since. It was dragged for bankruptcy resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in June last year.
The airline was founded by businessman Naresh Goyal, who is now under the scanner of various government agencies for mismanagement and diversion of funds related to Jet Airways.
Jet owes more than Rs 8,000 crore ($1.08 billion) to banks and is facing claims of Rs 24,887 crore from various creditors including banks, suppliers and employees. The bankruptcy tribunal has admitted claims worth Rs 14,000 crore.