The US-based carrier, Delta Airlines might pick up a stake in the Mumbai-based carrier, Jet Airways. According to certain sources, there had been exploratory discussions between the managements of Jet Airways and Delta on an equity investment. Jet Airways is being assisted by JPMorgan to raise funds, including through a possible stake sale, but talks with Delta had not reached the stage of valuation and a formal due diligence was yet to be conducted.
There have been frequent meetings between executives of the two airlines at Delta’s headquarters in Atlanta and Europe, and the two carriers may announce a joint venture in the next couple of months. After having stakes in the Richard Branson-founded Virgin Atlantic, Aero Mexico and China Eastern Airlines, Delta is looking forward to gain an access to the growing Indian market by investing in Jet Airways. In addition to that, Delta has leased a slot at the congested Heathrow airport to enable Jet to start a third daily service between Mumbai and London.
Jet Airways’ stock rose 3.35 % on Monday on talks of a stake sale to close at Rs 582. The airline’s market capitalization was Rs6,621 core at Monday’s closing price. When the exchanges sought clarification, Jet Airways didn’t confirm nor denied the reports saying, “We are committed to make appropriate disclosures in accordance with applicable regulations to avoid any speculative activities and state that there is no discussion or decision in the board which would require disclosure under Regulation 30 of Sebi Regulations, 2015.”