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Take decision on Jet Airways soon: NCLT to Synergy Group

Jet Airways was grounded eight months ago on April 17 after lenders refused to provide emergency funding to continue operations.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday told representatives of the Colombian Synergy Group to “take a decision early” on Jet Airways. Synergy Group Corp chief operating officer Michael Welch told the two-member bench of the NCLT on Thursday that the group is ready to invest in Jet Airways only if certain conditions are met.

Welch told the tribunal that the Synergy Group has put forth conditions that need to be met to safeguard the interest of its stakeholders, including formation of a new company free of the liabilities of Jet Airways, assurance on slots in India, London Heathrow Airport and the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Synergy also wanted other assets including erstwhile airport operating rights of Jet Airways, Welch told the tribunal. London Heathrow Airport slots were “absolutely critical” priority for Synergy group, he said.

“Synergy has expressed interest. We see an opportunity, but it will undoubtedly be very difficult… It is important for us to safeguard the interest of our stakeholders,” Welch told the bench.

The tribunal told Synergy Group that “slots are a perishable asset. The government will not give any guarantee,” and added that Synergy Group should work out the feasibility of investing in Jet and not be concerned about its liabilities. “We request you not to delay it further,” the bench said. The bench also told the Synergy Group to deposit a token sum of money to show its commitment. The tribunal said Synergy can only start a new company once it formally takes over Jet Airways.

Synergy Group, headed by Bolivian-born entrepreneur German Efromovich, has been in discussions with the government and lenders for over four months. The group is expected to meet lenders, other stakeholders of Jet Airways. “We have met some potential Indian partners, talks are on,” Welch told FE. Meanwhile, the committee of creditors (CoC) of Jet Airways is voting over calling for fresh expressions-of-interest from two more interested parties. The NCLT will next hear the matter on January 8.

Jet Airways was grounded eight months ago on April 17 after lenders refused to provide emergency funding to continue operations. The 180-day timeline for insolvency as stipulated under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, ended on December 16 for Jet Airways. The resolution professional filed for a 90-day extension of the process.

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Source: Financial Express