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Rumours shrouds over Jet-Sahara deal

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Mar 23: The scene of Jet-Sahara saga seems to have shifted to Delhi today (Mar 23, 2006) with reports of Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goel having reached the national capital to meet with Air Sahara officials, including the Sahara group boss Subrato Roy.

But a Jet Airways spokesperson, however, refused to confirm or deny Mr Goyal having airdashed to Delhi to Delhi or his meeting with Sahara group officials.

''I have no information on the matter,'' the spokesperson said.

However, speculation is abuzz in Indian aviation industry circles that a meeting of top honchoes of the two companies is in progress in an upscale hotel in Delhi to resolve various issues plaguing the merger process, including the escrow account the deadline for which expires tomorrow.

While a feeling is gaining ground that the deal will go through with a few amendments if felt necessary, the fact that none of the concerned parties, including the regulatory authorities are coming on record, has created a scenario where speculations and rumours are ruling the roost.

Jet Airways is still maintaining 'the deal is on'' stance, indicating that Mr Goyal is determined to see the deal through, with, perhaps, a few amendments to the original agreement, if necessary.

The merger deal at Rs 2,300-crore is the largest in Indian aviation history and, if it goes through, will catapult Jet Airways to the market leader in the domestic aviation segment with nearly 50 per cent share.

With tomorrow the last day for the proposed merger to be completed unless the escrow account matter gets extended, the aviation industry grapevine is abuzz with speculation that both parties may agree to an extension of ten days to two weeks.

The deal may also be renegotiated in the light of the prevailing and developing cicumstances, aviation circles aver.

UNI

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