Shares of Jet Airways
are trading 2% higher on the news that NRI businessman MA Yusuff Ali, founder of the Lulu Group, may play a key role in the ongoing talks between Etihad Airways and Jet Airways, as per media sources.
The ongoing talks between Etihad and Jet are now at an advanced stage, with Jet facing an urgent need for funds. The airline is losing ~Rs15cr a day and has also deferred salary payments to its pilots. The airline's management has nevertheless promised to clear pilots' dues by March 2019. This would be the second instance of the NRI entrepreneur aiding a deal between the two airlines.
Sources said that Ali could come in as Etihad's Indian partner, the need for which will arise if the Abu Dhabi-based airline decides to invest in Jet Airways and triggers an open offer. Read more.
As per the Indian government's FDI rules, a foreign investor can own a maximum of 49% in an Indian airline.
During the 2013 deal negotiations between Jet and Etihad, Ali had done his bit to mediate between the two sides and bring the deal to a close. Now five years later, with Goyal desperate for a deal and Etihad also driving a hard bargain, Ali could be the deal maker once more.