Jet Airways (India) Ltd on Monday was referred to the National Company Law Tribunal for bankruptcy proceedings, Mint reported. This comes after the lenders were unable to find a suitable investor and received only a conditional bid, they said in a statement.
“After due deliberations, lenders have decided to seek resolution under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code since only a conditional bid was received and requirement of the investor for SEBI [Securities and Exchange Board of India] exemptions and resolution of all creditors is possible under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code,” the consortium of lenders, led by the State Bank of India, said in the statement.
Two operational creditors, Shaman Wheels Pvt Ltd and Gaggar Enterprises Pvt Ltd, have already filed separate insolvency pleas against Jet Airways at the National Company Law Tribunal in Mumbai in order to recover their dues. While Shaman Wheels is a motor dealership based in Mumbai, Gaggar Enterprises is a mineral water producer in Ahmedabad.
Lenders are now likely to recover a minuscule amount out of the Rs 8,400-crore debt of the airline. Total liabilities of Jet Airways, including unpaid salaries and debts to vendors, are to the tune of nearly Rs 15,000 crore.
The insolvency proceedings will help the airline’s lenders to either sell the company as a whole or sell off its assets to maximise recovery for creditors. Jet Airways’ staff, who are owed at least Rs 4 billion in unpaid salaries between January and May, have also sought legal recourse on filing an insolvency petition, Reuters reported, citing unidentified officials.
Attempts for a resolution was being brokered by the lenders after Jet Airways defaulted on loan repayment in January. Since then, negotiations were on between the banks, airlines founder Naresh Goyal, and strategic partner Etihad Airways to invest into the airline but to no avail. “Lenders have been making efforts to find a resolution for Jet Airways outside the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code but in view of the above, they have decided to seek a resolution within the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code process,” the airline’s lenders said a statement, according to Business Standard.
In March, Naresh Goyal and Anita Goyal, who had founded the airline 26 years ago, had resigned from the board of directors. The board had said that an interim panel would be set up to handle its affairs.
On April 17, the private airline decided to temporarily suspend all domestic and international operations. The decision was taken after the carrier’s lenders declined to provide it emergency funds.
On June 13, shares of the debt-ridden airline tanked after the BSE and the National Stock Exchange decided to pull the carrier out of daily trading and shift it to the trade-for-trade segment from June 28.