India airline Go First’s lenders seek investor bids by Jan 31 -sources

By Siddhi Nayak

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Lenders to India’s Go First have set Jan. 31 as the deadline for financial bids to acquire the airline, two banking sources said on Sunday.

Go First filed for bankruptcy protection in May but lenders have more recently been considering liquidating the airline after failing to secure new investors.

“Banks have decided to give the resolution process another go and allow those suitors who have shown prior interest a chance to submit a concrete bid,” said a banker with a state-run bank that has exposure to Go First.

Indian carrier SpiceJet said last month that it was considering an offer for Go First after conducting due diligence. Sharjah, UAE-based Sky One, Africa-focused Safrik Investments and U.S.-based NS Aviation have also shown interest in Go First, the two sources said.

Sky One, Safrik Investments and NS Aviation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The second banker said the Committee of Creditors could also consider extending the month-end deadline at the request of a potential suitor. Neither of the sources wished to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Go First’s resolution professional, who conducts the insolvency process, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Go First’s bankruptcy filing lists Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank and Deutsche Bank among creditors to which the carrier owes a total of 65.21 billion rupees ($784.38 million).($1 = 83.1360 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Siddhi Nayak; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)