Mumbai: Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways may have agreed on a valuation of $1.25 billion for an undisclosed stake in Jet Airways. Sources say the deal is likely to value at around Rs 6,700 crore at a 15-20 per cent premium to Jet's current market cap. The current market cap of Jet is at Rs 5,322 crore. Sources say Ethihad board may meet on Friday to finalise the deal structure. The final deal announcement is expected to be made on January 25 or by the first week of February.
If the deal goes through, it will be the first instance of a foreign airline buying a stake in an Indian carrier. In September, the Indian government changed investment rules to permit foreign airlines to own up to 49 per cent in Indian carriers.
Sources say the deal may be a combination of warrants, preferential allotment of shares. The street expects the stake size to be around 24 per cent. Naresh Goyal is likely to remain Jet promoter and chairman post the deal. Also, the management structure is likely to remain intact; Ethihad may get two board seats. Sources say Jet may shift international base to Abu Dhabi to drive the synergy.
The stake sale would provide Jet much-needed cash to cut its $2 billion debt, as well as fund its loss-making budget subsidiary JetLite. It will also give the airline access to global routes currently operated by Etihad, in which it has a limited presence.
Meanwhile, Etihad is expected to benefit by getting a bigger foothold in India, a growing market. Both the companies were unavailable for comment on the deal.
Shares in Jet Airways rose as much as 3 per cent after CNBC-TV18 reported the news, but gave some of the gains on profit booking.