Naveen Jindal backed Jindal Power Ltd (JPL) has submitted the sole expression of interest (EoI) for Go First.
The Wadia-group airline suspended operations in May due to a cash crunch resulting from defective aircraft engines. In July, Shailendra Ajmera, the airline’s resolution applicant, called for expressions of interest from interested parties to take over the airline. After multiple extensions, the EoI process closed in September with a single interested party. It is also learnt that two other foreign entities had shown interest but didn’t qualify.
JPL will now have access to virtual data room and can carry out its due diligence before making a bid for the grounded airline, a source said. Incidentally, the 180-day period for completion of insolvency resolution process ends on November 6 and the airline’s lenders will have to take a call on an extension based on JPL’s interest.
JPL was not available for comment. JPL is privately owned by Naveen Jindal and family. It was acquired from the listed Jindal Steel & Power by a promoter entity in 2021. The Jindals also own a charter company called India Flysafe Aviation Ltd that rents out helicopter and planes.
While a single-bid scenario is not an issue under the bankruptcy code, Go First restart and revival is facing challenges due to litigation with aircraft lessors.
The Delhi High Court is expected to hear the lessors’ plea for deregistration of Go First planes in the light of a government notification that ruled that insolvency moratorium doesn’t apply to leased planes.
The committee of creditors is also yet to consider Ajmera’s request for additional funds to pay employee salaries. Staff have not been paid for the last three months and raised concerns at meeting with the resolution professional on Tuesday.