Jet Airways, India’s second largest carrier in terms of passengers carried, said on Thursday it was in talks for a stake sale with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which could turn out to be the first major stake purchase in the domestic aviation sector after the government opened up the sector to FDI in September.
The sale is expected to be a minority stake.
“Jet Airways and Etihad are in discussions regarding a potential investment by the latter,” the Naresh Goyal-led airline said in a filing to BSE after it was revealed that Etihad might buy a 24% stake in Jet for up to Rs 1,800 crore. Jet Airways shares gained 4.7% to close at Rs 606.85 on BSE.
If the deal goes through, it would be the first since the government relaxed ownership rules to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49% in a domestic carrier. Jet already has classified overseas investment from NRIs.
Goyal controls 80% stake in Jet through Tail Winds Ltd. The remaining stakes are held by individual and institutional investors.
Jet said, “No terms have been firmed up. Various structures are being explored... and care is being taken to ensure that all the Indian regulatory requirements are fully complied with.”