Jet Airways sells property, acquires aircraft title in insolvency

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AZB & Partners and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek advised the resolution professional managing the insolvency of Jet Airways when the airline sold two floors of a Mumbai building to a company controlled by Brookfield Asset Management. Khaitan & Co advised Brookfield.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had given the go-ahead for the ₹4.9 billion (US$65 million) sale after both HDFC, to which Jet Airways had mortgaged the premises, and the committee of creditors of Jet Airways had approved it. Wadia Ghandy advised HDFC, and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas advised the committee of creditors.

Jet Airways then made a US$13 million bullet payment to the US Exim Bank to acquire title to six Boeing 777 aircraft. Vedder Price advised the bank.

The real estate sale was completed on 10 July, and the acquisition of title to the aircraft, which the company said would add about US$200 million to the value of its assets, was completed on 27 July.

AZB & Partners said this was the first transaction under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) where a material asset was sold during the IBC process outside the normal course of business, with the approval of the NCLT.

The AZB & Partners team comprised founding partner Bahram Vakil, partners Nilang Desai and Suharsh Sinha, senior associate Amrita Sinha, and associate Rishiraj Baruah from the restructuring practice; partner Dhirajkumar Totala and associates Neeraja Balakrishnan, Nishant Upadhyay and Hardik Jain from the litigation practice; and partner Nohid Nooreyezdan, and senior associate Priya Parab from the real estate practice.

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s team comprised partner Reinout Vriesendorp and senior associate Laurens Peters.

Khaitan & Co’s team comprised partner Harsh Parikh and principal associate Abhiraj Gandhi. Partner Siddharth Srivastava and principal associate Kanika Kadam advised on insolvency law.

Wadia Ghandy’s team was led by partners Dhawal Mehta and Denzil Arambhan. Vedder Price’s team comprised transportation finance specialist Jeffrey Veber and associate Michael Ogle.

Jet Airways was grounded in April 2019, following a fund crunch. In June 2019, the Mumbai bench of the NCLT admitted an insolvency petition filed by a State Bank of India-led consortium of 26 banks, which sought to recover more than ₹85 billion.

The airline has also faced insolvency proceedings in the Netherlands, where it was declared bankrupt after failing to pay two creditors. The resolution professional in the Indian bankruptcy proceedings has been cooperating with the bankruptcy administrator appointed by the Dutch courts.