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Stake sale in troubled Jet Airways may get delayed

Christian Fernsby |
Lenders to India’s troubled Jet Airways may have to wait a little longer to sell a stake in the carrier, as they need more clarity from the country's central bank, the Business Standard newspaper reported on Sunday.

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Jet Airways, India's oldest private carrier, is saddled with more than $1 billion in debt, compounding its financial woes and forcing it to ground most of its fleet.

After Jet Airways failed to convince potential investors, including its largest shareholder Etihad Airways, to bail it out, Indian banks decided to take a majority stake in the carrier.

Last month, Jet Airways's lenders, led by State Bank of India agreed to bailout the airline in a complex deal that involved the banks taking a majority stake, while seeking out an investor to help revive the company's fortunes.

Jet Airways's lenders on Thursday said they plan to seek expressions of interest in the airline from potential investors from April 6 and that all submissions from interested parties are expected to be completed by April 9.

But this process may be delayed as the Reserve Bank of India is yet to examine the issue of debt to equity conversion, the paper said, citing a source.

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