Naresh Goyal, chairman of Jet Airways India Ltd., gestures to reporters as he leaves a meeting in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Bloomberg News)

Naresh Goyal Pledges Half Of His Stake In Jet Airways

Naresh Goyal pledged half of his stake in Jet Airways (India) Ltd. with Punjab National Bank as the airline he founded battles a crippling financial crunch.

Goyal pledged 26 percent holding as a security for existing and new loans, according to the carrier’s exchange filings. At the prevailing prices, it's valued at close to Rs 800 crore.

Goyal is likely to submit initial bids for stake in the airline on Thursday, news agency PTI reported citing unidentified sources.

BloombergQuint had earlier reported that the lenders were planning to infuse close to Rs 1,500 crore in the debt-laden airline against promoter shares after taking control by converting debt into equity.

Goyal also gave a non-disposal to PNB, barring him from selling his 51 percent holding in the airline. He had signed a similar agreement with Punjab National Bank in 2013 when Jet Airways was reeling under debt. But then the U.A.E-based Etihad Airways had bailed it out by infusing funds.

Also read: Jet Airways’ Lenders Leave Door Open For Naresh Goyal’s Return

With a debt of close to Rs 8,500 crore, Jet Airways is struggling to pay employees and lessors, which grounded its aircraft. The airline is operating 26 planes, about a fifth its fleet size.

The lenders are looking for an investor. Yesterday, shortly before the deadline ended, SBI Capital Markets extended the deadline for submitting expressions of interest. According to an investment banker in charge of the sale process, that was done to allow better participation.