24 August 2019: The resolution professional (RP) for Jet Airways has received a fresh expression of interest (EoI) from a “known foreign entity”, two people with knowledge of the matter told FE. The committee of creditors (CoC) for Jet Airways will meet on August 26 to consider the proposal, which came in this week. The CoC will also try to resolve the dispute over Siroya Centre, Jet’s headquarters till recently, sources said.
“A fresh EoI was received this week which looks promising. Since it came after the deadline had ended on August 10, it will be taken up for the CoC’s consideration on Monday. Of the three EoIs that were submitted before the deadline, Volcan Investments has officially withdrawn its EoI this week and Avantulo group was not provisionally shortlisted,” one of the persons mentioned above said.
Volcan Investments is the family-owned trust of Anil Agarwal, the founder and executive chairman of Vedanta Resources.
Etihad Airways, a strategic partner of Jet Airways, also backed out of the resolution process earlier this month stating “there remained very significant issues relating to Jet’s liabilities.” Before the August 10 deadline, two other parties — Panama-based Avantulo Group and a Russian entity, Treasury RA Creator — had submitted EoIs.
The CoC will also take up the settlement proposal put forth by the legal counsel for Luckystar, the owner of Siroya Centre, over the disputed premises. Luckystar had approached the tribunal last month seeking to repossess Siroya Centre, the six-storey building which was the headquarters of Jet Airways; the lease expired on June 7. The legal counsel for Luckystar has since put forth a settlement proposal, which, if agreed upon by the CoC, will lead to Jet Airways vacating the premises.
Additionally, the CoC will take up the settlement proposal put forth by HDFC regarding the dispute on keeping Godrej BKC out of Jet’s resolution proceedings. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will hear both matters on August 28.
The CoC will also discuss the delayed release of the Rs 70-crore interim financing approved by lenders during the first meeting on July 16. Of that amount, only Rs 10 crore has so far been disbursed by the State Bank of India. The RP’s legal counsel on Friday told the the National Company Law Tribunal that releasing the funds is essential for preserving Jet’s assets, and for covering legal and other costs. The legal counsel will file an application seeking the NCLT’s directions on the delay.
The NCLT initiated the corporate insolvency resolution process for Jet Airways on June 20. Judge VP Singh, who passed the insolvency order, called the resolution of the airline a matter of “national importance” and had urged the resolution professional to complete the process within 90 days. Jet Airways was grounded on April 17 after lenders refused to provide emergency funding to continue operations.