SpiceJet promoter and media baron Kalanithi Maran may be close to clinching a deal with an investor for his cash-strapped airline.
Sources said the talks entered the final round this week, and are revolving around the valuation of the company.
“While the company is exploring various options to further capitalise, we are unable to comment on specifics at this stage,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said.
The Bombay Stock Exchange has sought a clarification from the company with regard to media reports that SpiceJet promoters were in talks to sell a part or complete stake in the airline. SpiceJet shares rose 14.96% to close at Rs 16.06 on BSE on Friday.
Sources said SpiceJet is being valued at around RS 1,500 crore. It is not clear whether Maran wants to exit completely from the budget airline in which he holds a stake of 53.48%.
The cash-strapped airline has been cancelling flights across its network on a daily basis prompting the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to recently ask for a report from the airline. The size of SpiceJet’s Boeing 737 fleet, which stood at 35 in July, is down to 28 of which only 26 are operational. The number of daily flights has fallen drastically from about 345 in July to around 300 at present.
Aviation consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has said the airline has a funding requirement of $250 million to stabilise operations and will need continuous flow of capital in the near term as market and competitive dynamics will remain challenging.
The airline had reported a Rs 310 crore loss for the September quarter – its fifth straight quarterly loss.