Employees' consortium representatives discuss Jet Airways bid with SBI Cap officials
New Delhi, May 2: Representatives of an employees' consortium that plans to bid for Jet Airways met officials of SBI Capital Markets on Thursday and discussed various issues related to bidding process, according to a statement.
The meeting comes two days after the consortium proposed to take over the ailing airline, with at least Rs 3,000 crore expected from outside investors for the bid. SBI Caps officials detailed the process of bidding which is already underway during a meeting held in Mumbai, a statement issued by two staff unions said.
The statement was issued by the Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots (SWIP) and the Jet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Welfare Association (JAMEVA). "The SBI Caps team stated lenders may review the status and consider any other options or proposals, including our employee ownership proposal after conclusion of the bidding, and if the said process does not provide a satisfactory solution," it said.
SBI Caps is managing the bidding process for debt-laden Jet Airways on behalf of the State Bank of India (SBI)-led lenders' consortium. The deadline for submitting initial bids has already ended and the shortlisted bids are expected to be finalised next week. SWIP General Secretary Ashwani Tyagi, JAMEVA President Ashish Kumar Mohanty and Jet Lite Senior Vice President (Operations) and Accountable Manager P P Singh were among those who attended the meeting. While SWIP has around 800 members, there are about 500 employees with JAMEVA. Calls made to SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar to seek his comments on the meeting went unanswered.
Cash-starved Jet Airways stopped operations temporarily on April 17 after lenders decided not to extend emergency funds. Since then, employees have held gatherings in various cities and have also met various ministers with pleas to save the airline. On April 29, the two associations wrote a letter to Rajnish Kumar proposing that they would take over the airline and can bring in up to Rs 7,000 crore. They also asked SBI to consider "employee consortium" as an intending bidder for the carrier.
"The contribution from employees would be realised from their future earnings and increased productivity... As per our initial estimate, the contribution of employees group over a hypothetical 5-year Employee Stock Ownership Programme (ESOP) is likely to be upward of Rs 4,000 crore. "In addition, we are also confident of securing an investment commitment of up to Rs 3,000 crore from outside investors," the letter had said. The letter was signed by Tyagi, Mohanty, Singh and Jet Airways Manager (Human Resources) B B Singh.