Etihad acquires 24% in Jet Airways and majority stake in JetPrivilege

Jet Airways has completed the induction of Etihad Airways as a 24% shareholder in the airline, following the initial announcement of this deal in April 2013. Under the deal, Jet Airways issued new shares to Etihad Airways, and the stake of the founder/promoter of the airline, Naresh Goyal, is now down to 51%. James Hogan, who is the CEO of Etihad Airways, and James Rigney, who is the CFO, have also come on the Board of Directors of Jet Airways.

In a related move, JetPrivilege, the loyalty program of Jet Airways, which was spun off into a separate company last year, also got sold with 50.1% stake of the JP program now with Etihad.

Like I have stated earlier, there are plans to make a hub in Abu Dhabi for 9W, and 9W/EY in a joint statement said synergies would be realised immediately, although they will release news about how over the coming days. Discussions & speculation about this deal have been going on since last year, and earlier this year, Jet Airways also sold its slots at London’s Heathrow airport to Etihad (and leased them back!)

This is the first time an Indian airline was allowed to divest stake to another airline outside India, and hence, it took a while and a lot of to and fro amongst the various government departments to approve the deal. However, all is well that ends well, and I am looking forward to the integration process.

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