JPMorgan Chase & Co. is partnering with SpiceJet Ltd.’s co-founder for a $200 million holding in the distressed Indian carrier, a senior government official said.
A private-equity unit of JPMorgan and Ajay Singh, who quit as a director of the airline in 2010, plan to buy the entire stake held by majority shareholder Kalanithi Maran, said the official with direct knowledge of Singh’s plans.
SpiceJet is under pressure to end a more than two-year search for an investor after missing salary payment to staff and canceling about 2,000 flights this month. The government added to the saga this month with a flip-flop over a proposed rescue package, initially saying it would ask banks to lend as much as 6 billion rupees to the carrier before stating later that it can’t help an individual company.
JPMorgan and Singh, who have invested about 170 million rupees in SpiceJet to help it clear dues to oil refiners, plan to finalize the deal in a month’s time, the official said. The investors will brief the civil aviation ministry tomorrow on the proposal, the person said.
Singh and SpiceJet spokeswoman Sudipta Das didn’t respond to calls to their mobile phones.
Media tycoon Maran and his company KAL Airways Pvt. own more than 58 percent of SpiceJet. He paid 7.4 billion rupees to buy a stake from Wilbur Ross in 2010, and invested a further 5.6 billion rupees, according to the airline.
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