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40 pc bargain no solace for Jet shareholders

business Updated: Apr 12, 2007 18:13 IST

Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal is surely a happy man after snapping up Air Sahara in the Indian aviation sector's first marriage of private carriers, that too at a 40 per cent discounted price than what was agreed about 15 months ago.

However, it is unlikely that shareholders of the private carrier would share the NRI businessman's feelings, as the discount represents barely one-fifth of the market value the company has lost since it began this courtship.

After the two firms on Thursday agreed on a revised dea, Goyal said the revised price of Rs 1,450 crore to buy out Air Sahara represents a 40 per cent discount to the original price of Rs 2,300 crore.

Though Jet Airways' shares on Thursday bounced back by over three per cent on the bourses, following days of downward journey mostly driven by concerns over the Sahara deal, the company has lost close to Rs 4,500 crore in its market value since January 18, 2006 when it first announced a deal to acquire Air Sahara.

Jet's market capitalisation today stood at about Rs 5,400 crore, as against Rs 9,930 crore on January 19.

While Jet has managed a bargain of about Rs 900 crore, this represents just about 20 per cent of the market cap loss of about Rs 4,500 crore in the past 15 months.

Besides, the market cap loss, analysts said that investors were also worried about the limited prospects for gains that Jet could reap from Air Sahara, which has lost nearly half of its market share since the two companies began talks for a possible merger.

The company's shares on Thursday closed at Rs 628.65, up nearly 3.24 per cent from yesterday's close of Rs 608.90 at the Bombay Stock Exchange.