SpiceJet Raises $100 Million

SpiceJet Ltd., India's second-largest domestic budget airline, has received up to $100 million in private equity funding commitments. WL Ross is leading the tranched-out transaction, with Istithmar World Capital and SpiceJet director Ajay Singh also participating.

PRESS RELEASE

SpiceJet Limited (“SpiceJet” or “Company”) and WL Ross & Co. LLC (“WL Ross”), a global private equity investor, announced the execution of definitive documents for a funding transaction with WL Ross and others. The completion of the transaction will make available up to Rs. 421 crores (USD $100 million) to SpiceJet. This is higher than the Rs. 345 crore (USD $80 million) proposed earlier and has been made possible partly through the participation of Istithmar World Capital and SpiceJet Director, Mr. Ajay Singh.

 

The infusion of capital will take place in two successive tranches. Completion of the funding of the first tranche is subject to certain conditions precedent, which are expected to be fulfilled in the next two weeks. The remainder of the funding will be received after shareholder approval which the Company will seek shortly. As part of the transaction, Goldman Sachs has agreed to subscribe for equity warrants in the Company under the preferential issue guidelines of SEBI and subject to requisite approvals.

 

Mr. Bhulo Kansagra and Mr. Singh, Board Members of SpiceJet, said, “We are delighted that such a large amount of funding has been made available to SpiceJet at a challenging time for the aviation industry in India. This investment validates the confidence of our investors in the low cost model that SpiceJet has chosen to follow. We are delighted to have WL Ross on-board SpiceJet and we are confident that this will better enable SpiceJet to maintain its proud position as the most efficient airline in the country.”

 

Mr. Wilbur L. Ross Jr., Chairman & CEO, WL Ross & Co. LLC said, “This financing is intended to give SpiceJet the staying power to get through the industry consolidation that is underway. We also gain encouragement that oil prices have been abating and that the government has appointed a Committee under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary to recommend measures to stabilize the industry.”

 

Mr. Ranjeet Nabha, Managing Director & CEO of WL Ross India said, “We have worked closely with the promoter group and Istithmar World Capital to provide SpiceJet with a strong capital base that will enable it to emerge from the current down turn and be recognized and admired, not only in India, but on the global stage.”

 

Mr. Ross and Mr. Nabha are expected to join the Board of Directors of SpiceJet.

 

Background

 

SpiceJet is India's second largest domestic budget airline with c.10% market share currently. It is one of the most efficiently run low cost airline carriers. The Company operates 94 flights daily with a fleet of 15 aircraft currently in operation.

 

WL Ross, a part of Invesco Ltd. since October 2006, manages assets for institutional investors in the U.S., Europe and Asia. It invests in corporate restructurings and turnarounds with an objective toward creating new, world-class enterprises. The company has sponsored alternative investments including private equity funds, co-investment vehicles and hedge funds in the steel, textile, coal, automotive and financial services industries in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua and Bermuda. WL Ross has approximately US$7.9 billion worth of assets under management. In India, WL Ross entered into a co-operation agreement with Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (“HDFC Ltd.”) in October 2005 to assist it in sourcing and evaluating appropriate private equity investment opportunities in India.

 

Istithmar World Capital, the private equity and alternative investment arm of Istithmar World, is headquartered in Dubai, UAE, with offices in Shanghai, China. Established in 2003, Istithmar World Capital is a Dubai World company with $6 billion worth of assets under management (AUM). Since inception, Istithmar World Capital has invested in over 35 companies, with an aggregate enterprise value of US$9 billion.