SpiceJet asks suitors for R70-75 per share

The Kalanithi Maran-owned SpiceJet has asked potential suitors for R70 to R75 a share for a possible stake sale, a person in the know of the development has told FE.

Such a share price would value the airline anywhere between R3,200 crore to R3,500 crore and offer Maran a 50-60% premium to the price of R47.25 per share he paid to acquire the airline.

As per Monday's closing price of R44.40, SpiceJet's market valuation stands at R2,150 crore. "There have been talks with several airlines and investors," said the person in direct knowledge of the development. "However, a deal would still take another two to three months to finalise."

The person added that the airline has held preliminary talks with Qatar Airways, Etihad, AirAsia and Emirates during the year. "Qatar was before the FDI rule was announced so they are yet to get back to us," the person said. "Talks were held with AirAsia in the last week of September and we expect them to approach us for due diligence soon."

However, AirAsia said late on Monday that it does not intend to bid for SpiceJet. "AirAsia has not submitted a bid for the Indian budget carrier, and has no intention of doing so," tweeted Tony Fernandes, the Malaysian entrepreneur who founded the no-frills budget airline.

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