sky one: Ajay Singh, Sky One and Busy Bee file firm bids for Go First

SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh, Sharjah-based aviation company Sky One and little-known Busy Bee are the three entities that have finally submitted the ₹5-crore bank guarantee and a formal expression of interest (EoI) for the bankrupt Go First Airlines, people familiar with the process said.
These entities will now be given time for due diligence on the airline. Lenders will also likely put a proposal to extend the timeline for the resolution process by another two months beyond the current February 4 deadline, these people said.

“Singh has applied in his individual capacity. Busy Bee is a new name that has applied along with some individuals who are linked to the previous applicant Plan IT. All of them have made the cut having submitted the bank guarantee,” said one of the people cited above.

Plan IT was also among the initial applicants when bankers sought bids in October but had failed to make the cut because it didn’t meet the ₹500 crore net worth criteria. This time the individuals have tied up with Busy Bee and made the cut.

Two more entities Africa-focussed Safrik Investments and US-based NS Aviation have not submitted guarantees after initially expressing interest last month. “All these three entities will now be given access to more information and data on Go First to enable them to make a formal plan,” said a second person aware of the process.

Resolution professional (RP) Shailendra Ajmera is likely to call for fresh voting by creditors, as soon as Thursday, extending the resolution timeline by another 60 days beyond the current February 4 deadline, which will stretch the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) to 330 days. Ajmera did not reply to an email seeking comment.

Go First owes creditors more than ₹6,200 crore. Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and IDBI are the secured creditors for the airline with ₹1,934 crore, ₹1,744 crore and ₹75 crore of admitted claims, respectively.Lenders are hoping for formal bids after a disappointing first round in October when Jindal Steel and Power promoter Naveen Jindal’s EoI, the only preliminary inquiry to make the cut as a bidder for the airline, did not translate into a final bid.

Simultaneously, lenders are also pursuing arbitration proceedings in Singapore against engine maker Pratt & Whitney (P&W), continuing the process started by Go First’s erstwhile management seeking more than $1 billion from the company, blaming it for supplying faulty engines that were not replaced on time, resulting in the grounding of half the airline’s fleet and pushing it toward bankruptcy.

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