Millennium Post

SpiceJet: Ajay checks in, Marans check out

Singh would get 53.48 per cent stake, currently worth about Rs 500 crore, in the airline from the Maran family, while an open offer for purchase of further 26 per cent from public shareholders (worth about Rs 250 crore) will be made if sought by the markets regulator Sebi.

Kalanithi Maran-led Sun Group would also inject Rs 80 crore in the loss-making airline following conversion of their warrants, which would give them a 10 per cent minority stake. Marans would retain this stake in the airline, which they acquired over four years ago, as a public shareholder but would cease to be its promoters.

Singh admitted that the road ahead for SpiceJet is “pretty tough” and its turnaround could take 2-3 quarters, while adding that more than one investor can come on board for fund infusion. SpiceJet Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Kapoor said he is looking forward to the carrier getting back to normalcy while some more steps may be taken for its revival.

“The ownership change in SpiceJet is a positive development. (We are) looking forward to get back to normalcy,” Kapoor said. The fresh lease of life marks the third change in ownership for the airline, which was founded in 2005 by Singh along with London-based Kansagra family of Indian origin.

US-based investor Wilbur Ross, known as a turnaround specialist, held a substantial stake for a brief period before selling it to Marans in 2010. While the company was silent on financial details of the deal and revival plan, official sources said that the overall deal could be worth Rs 1,500 crore in three tranches. The Sun Group officials and Singh also refused to comment on the specific financial implications of the deal, which has ended weeks of uncertainty about the carrier’s fate.

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