Maran exits, Ajay Singh re-boards SpiceJet

Maran exits, Ajay Singh re-boards SpiceJet

Maran exits, Ajay Singh re-boards SpiceJet

After months of battling crisis, SpiceJet on Thursday began its flight out of uncertainty with promoters Kalanidhi Maran and KAL Airways agreeing to cede “ownership, management and control” of the cash-strapped airline to its co-founder Ajay Singh.

Maran and KAL hold 53.48 per cent shares. They will infuse around Rs 80 crore into the airline after conversion of their warrants that would come to around 10 per cent shares.

Though finer details were not available, SpiceJet has informed Bombay Stock Exchange that its board of directors has approved the proposal, pursuant to a “Scheme of Reconstruction and Revival for the takeover of ownership, management and control of SpiceJet.”

After the Maran-led Sun Group refused to infuse capital into the airline that had to be grounded for almost 10 hours due to non-payment to oil companies, Singh is leading SpiceJet’s revival battle with the help of foreign investors like JPMorgan Chase.

Singh established the airline in 2005. Singh was a close aide of the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan and is considered close to the party central leadership. It is claimed that Sin­gh played a key role in Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha campaign and also coined the slogan “Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar”.

The airline on Thursday submitted the business proposal to the civil aviation ministry.
“We will become minority shareholders post ownership transfer. Induction of new investors will be dealt with by Singh. Singh will be able to manage SpiceJet better,” S L Narayanan, chief financial officer of Sun Group, told TV channels.

Narayanan said the group would transfer the entire equity stake of 53.48 per cent to Singh but would remain an investor .

Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer of SpiceJet, said it was a positive development. “Hopefully, uncertainty will be behind us soon,” he told reporters.