15-Jun-2010 9:45 AM

SpiceJet board approves acquisition of shares by Kalanithi Maran and Kal Airways

SpiceJet stated (14-Jun-2010) its Board of Directors approved the proposed acquisition by Sun TV Network Chairman and MD, Kalanithi Maran, and Kal Airways Pvt Ltd of the shares held by current investors, Royal Holdings Services Ltd and WL Ross. [more]

Mr Maran reportedly entered into an agreement to acquire 37.73% of the LCC's shares (reportedly 30.23% from Wilbur Ross and 7.49% from the Kansagara family) for an estimated USD160 million or INR47.25/share (Telegraph India/Dow Jones/The Hindu/Business Standard/Bloomberg/Economic Times/Reuters, 14-Jun-2010). The acquisition, made by Mr Maran in his individual capacity and through his aviation company, KAL Airways, makes Mr Maran the carrier's single largest stakeholder. Mr Maran also reportedly plans to acquire a further 20% stake in the airline through a mandatory open offer, reportedly at INR57.76/share. If the additional shares are acquired, Mr Maran will have a 58% stake in the carrier. The SpiceJet stock closed at INR55.15 on 14-Jun-2010.

Meanwhile, Mr Maran stated he has no plans "for now" to change the SpiceJet branding following the acquisition (PTI/Live Mint, 14-Jun-2010). He added that he was "happy with the existing management and the airline has done well even during recession." On his future plans for the airline, he commented, "we are looking at the expansion of SpiceJet in South", adding, "we are looking at international routes like Dhaka, Colombo." Meanwhile, there has been reported the carrier will likely place an order for at least 20 new aircraft to support this expansion, doubling the fleet of the carrier.

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