FLORIDA- A fourth potential buyer (NS Aviation) has entered the scene for Acquiring Go First, as lenders extend the resolution applicants’ deadline until the end of the month, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter, as reported by CNBC-TV18.
NS Aviation, a Florida-based aviation company, has expressed interest in acquiring GoFirst through the insolvency resolution process, as per information gathered by CNBC-TV18.
NS Aviation Interested in Acquiring Go First
Reports suggest that NS Aviation acquired an 85% stake in the Hyderabad-based budget airline TruJet for ₹450 crore last year.
The company was founded by Dr. Mohammed Ali, a CT surgeon from the USA and a longstanding global investor in the aviation sector since the early 2000s, along with Isha Ali, a financial engineer, entrepreneur, and aviation enthusiast, as indicated on its website.
Simultaneously, individuals familiar with the matter revealed that the committee of creditors for Go First has opted to extend the deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the airline to January 19.
Moreover, the lenders have tentatively set January 31 as the deadline for eligible bidders to submit offers for GoFirst, considering that the maximum period of 270 days allowed for the completion of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under bankruptcy law concludes on February 4 for the airline.
However, sources indicate that this deadline could be extended if necessary. A person directly involved in the matter mentioned,
“Once we have an indication that there will be serious bids made, we can go to the NCLT to seek more time for the CIRP and then give players more time to submit bids.”
Other Potential Bidders
Previously, CNBC-TV18 reported that three entities, namely SpiceJet (SG), a Sharjah-based aviation consultant named Sky One, and Safrik, an investment firm with a focus on Africa, had expressed interest in acquiring GoFirst under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
These potential buyers emerged subsequent to the initial deadline of November 22 for submitting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for GoFirst, which had concluded without any interested parties.
Additionally, CNBC-TV18 obtained a letter from SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh to GoFirst’s Resolution Professional (RP) Shailendra Ajmera. In the letter, Singh stated,
“The Company has recently approved and initiated the process of raising fresh capital of about US$ 270 million to strengthen its financial position and provide resources to invest in growth plans. The Company is interested in the resolution process of Go First. It wishes to submit an Expression of Interest (“EoI”) along with a viable resolution plan for the revival of Go First… We understand that the last date for submitting EoI has elapsed and therefore request you to please allow us to file EoI for Go First along with a credible revival plan within a definite timeline.”
GoFirst currently has total liabilities amounting to ₹11,463 crore, with bank dues constituting ₹6,521 crore. Key creditors involved in this case include the Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Deutsche Bank, and IDBI Bank.
About NS Airline
United States-based NS Aviation has acquired an 85% majority stake in TruJet (2T). This Hyderabad-based budget airline ceased operations in 2022 due to financial difficulties to relaunch it as NS Airline.
According to NS Aviation’s Vice Chairman, Isha Ali, the deal is valued at approximately Rs 450 crore and is expected to be finalized soon.
NS Aviation has ambitious plans for its operations in India, including the induction of 100 Airbus A320Neo aircraft. Initially, the focus will be on domestic flights connecting major metro cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.
While the company aims to expand to international routes, this expansion will occur gradually over the next 18 months.
NS Aviation intends to strengthen its presence in India before venturing into international operations.
Isha Ali stated, “By the end of this year, we plan to operate flights to Tier-II and III cities, and within the next one-and-a-half years, we aim to serve international destinations.”
While IndiGo, the largest airline in India in terms of market share, made a remarkable order for 500 Airbus aircraft on June 19, the Indian aviation sector is facing its share of challenges.
Stay tuned with us. Further, follow us on social media for the latest updates.