Corporate Jan 11, 2013
There are more indications that Chairman Vijay Mallya's plan to rope in Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways to be a party to his Kingfisher Airlines' troubles may just remain a dream.
Just like lenders and the aviation ministry, Etihad's board too is not convinced of the revival plan of the grounded airline and quite naturally the senior management of the foreign company prefers Jet Airways, according to a CNBC-TV18 report.
However, the board meet has ended inconclusively and a decision on Etihad's Indian investment is likely to be deferred by a few days, the report said.
Etihad's doubts about the Kingfisher revival plan are similar to those raised by the lenders and aviation authorities.
The board of Etihad has sought clarity on capital infusion by promoters and wants them to clear the dues first. It has questioned Kingfisher's claims of touching $200 million EBIDTA in three years.
Etihad is also concerned about Kingfisher's liabilities and low assets, the CNBC-TV18 report said.
It is clear that the revival plan submitted by Kingfisher Airlines is all gas. How will Kingfisher, with dues and losses of about Rs 15,000 crore, reach $200 million EBIDTA in three years?
Moreover, there have not been any steps from the government to tackle the troubles in the Indian aviation industry.
Did Mallya think that he will get a kid-gloves approach from Etihad too?
If he did, it is nothing but foolhardy. He may make such tall claims to his lenders and the authorities, who have loads of patience and think shutting down the company is a sin.
But Etihad is doing a business deal and will do the required due diligence before taking any decisions.
So, it would be better for Mallya to keep a plan ready to deal with his employees, who have decided to move the court for getting their dues.
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