Two bids received for Jet Airways, says State Bank of India

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Two bids received for Jet Airways, says State Bank of India

Two sources involved in the process said Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways, which owns a minority stake in Jet, might make a bid before Friday's deadline.

Besides the association, a section of Jet Airways employees and numerous domestic and global entrepreneurs have evinced interest in investing in the grounded airline.

The decision was taken owing to a dip in the capacity intake of the aviation sector in recent months followed by the temporary shutdown of Jet Airways' operations and the grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft by SpiceJet.

Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways has submitted a bid for a stake in India's Jet Airways, the unit of State Bank of India (SBI) overseeing the sale of the stricken airline said on Friday. Etihad, which has put several conditions before the lenders including a waiver from making a mandatory open offer, is the only candidate which submitted the binding bid among the four short-listed bidders selected earlier through the Expression of Interest (EoI) process.

Private equity firm TPG Capital, Indigo Partners, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Etihad Airways had been shortlisted to submit their bids after they gave their EoIs.

Jet Airways has more than 440 slots at Mumbai and Delhi airports, a ministry official said last month.

While some of the aviation experts have raised concerns on the government's decision to allot Jet's domestic slots and global traffic rights to rival airlines, suggesting it will impact investor sentiment, a few industry insiders do expect surprise bidding in the final few hours.

"A few unsolicited offers have also been received which the lenders may deliberate upon subsequently", SBI Capital Markets said in a statement without giving further details.

"(We've) made disproportionate efforts to keep Jet flying", Kumar said, adding he expected at least one more bidder to enter the fray.

"The company is not involved in the bidding process and has no information with regard to same and is accordingly not in a position to comment", the airline said in a filing. Currently, the airline owes Rs 8,000 crore to the lenders.

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