Go Airlines Planned IPO Put on Hold by India Market Regulator
(Bloomberg) -- Go Airlines India Ltd.’s plans to raise 36 billion rupees ($485 million) via an initial public offering have been put on hold by India’s market regulator, dealing another blow to the debt-laden carrier whose business has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokeswoman for Go Airlines said the company hasn’t received any communication from Sebi.
Read more: India Market Regulator Puts on Hold Go Air, Aditya Birla MF IPOs
That delay is sure to be damaging to Go Airlines, which was depending on the IPO proceeds to repay debt and dues to creditors including Indian Oil Corp. Go Airlines, a no-frills carrier controlled by the Wadia Group, is saddled with obligations that totaled around 81.6 billion rupees as of mid-April, according to its preliminary prospectus.
Any recovery in air travel in India also looks to be postponed, with fears record vaccinations may not stop a deadly third wave. Indian carriers will need about $5 billion to survive but only have access to about $1.1 billion through share offerings and other means, according to the CAPA Centre for Aviation. IndiGo, India’s biggest carrier, and the nation’s flag carrier, Air India Ltd., will account for the bulk of the $8 billion in losses by 2022, CAPA said.
To survive, Go Airlines furloughed around 3,800 employees from April through June last year and introduced graded pay cuts for management staff, starting with 50% for the chief executive officer and rising to 5%, according to its prospectus.
The second biggest customer for Airbus SE, Go Airlines has also deferred the induction of new aircraft due to the pandemic and is in the process of re-negotiating with the planemaker, it said. Of the 144 Airbus A320 neo aircraft on order, Go Airlines is awaiting delivery of 98 planes.
“The Covid pandemic has had an adverse impact on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity, and the duration and spread of the pandemic or another pandemic could result in additional adverse impact,” Go Airlines said in the sale document.
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