Did Ajay Singh pay Maran Rs 2 to acquire SpiceJet in 2015 ?
Possibly the lowest amount at which a civil aviation company has been bought in India, team Modi's slogan writer Ajay Singh acquired SpiceJet from Kalanithi Maran for Rs 2 over two years back, reports said.
According to a recent Delhi High Court judgment on a Singh-Maran dispute, a sale purchase agreement (SPA) was executed between the two in January 2015 where Singh acquired just over 35 crore shares -representing 58.5% stake in the low-cost carrier (LCC) -from promoter Maran and his investment arm Kal Airways for Rs. 2, reports Times of India.
The Low Cost Carrier had lost Rs 687 crore in 2014-15 and had a negative net worth of Rs 1,329 crore in the same year. The airline's debt at the time of acquisition was over Rs 1,418 crore and liabilities of over Rs 2,000 crore.
An alumnus of Delhi's St. Columba's School, Singh, coined BJP's 2014 campaign slogan, "Abki baar Modi sarkar". He had been closely involved with the party's election campaign in the last three of the four general elections.
Asked about the Rs-2 acquisition, a SpiceJet official said: "To say that Ajay Singh bought SpiceJet for Rs 2 is absolutely baseless and there could be nothing farther from the truth.''
At this time SpiceJet had a debt and liabilities outstanding of Rs 3,500 crore with immediate payables of Rs 2,200 crore and the book value of the company was (minus) - Rs 24 per share. The Maran family sold the company to Ajay Singh on the basis that he would take over all these liabilities," the official added.