Jet Airways seeks discount to acquire Air Sahara

Jet Airways seeks discount to acquire Air Sahara

By agencies   |   Thursday, 23 March 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: With its stock crashing uncontrollably, Jet Airways indicated that it wanted to renegotiate the buyout deal with Sahara, putting a huge question mark over the historic merger's flight plan.

With the March 24 deadline not too far away, Jet has proposed to bring down the Sahara buyout price from the original $500 million to $272 million.

This may well be the true reason for the deal stalling, although everything from monopoly to recalcitrant employees had been cited as reasons for delay in finalizing it.

Aviation and market experts had insisted at the time of the deal that it was hugely overvalued. Kingfisher Air's Vijay Malya had offered a much lesser, but more in tune with market, deal. But, he failed, as the deal was not sweet enough for Sahara.

Sources in the know of the deal said that the execution of the deal had been stalled for want of the clearance of Air Sahara's application for share-purchase agreement signed by the two sides and the change of the management.

Sahara officials discounted a rumor that Sahara boss Subrata Roy and Jet chief Naresh Goyal would meet here today to iron out differences and echoed the Jet officials' view that there was no glitch in execution of the deal.

Speculation about the deal turning sour had intensified in the last two days after Jet said in a statement that it had not informed the Civil Aviation Ministry about the buyout.

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