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Jet buys Sahara Airlines for Rs 23 bn cash deal

New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) In the biggest aviation takeover in India, Jet Airways has struck a deal to buy Sahara Airlines for Rs 23 bn cash deal, a move that would help Naresh Goyal promoted carrier to become the biggest domestic carrier.

"They have agreed to buy Sahara for 500 million dollar in all-cash deal," sources in Sahara Group said within minutes of Jet informing the Stock Exchange its Board decision to acquire Sahara Airlines.

In its communication Jet informed BSE that "the Board of Directors of the company has considered and approved the acquisition by the company of 100 per cent of the fully paid up equity share capital of Sahara Airlines." The deal is, however, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals as may be required.

Sources said the deal was inclusive of all the liabilities of Sahaara Airlines, which were brought down to about Rs 1.50 bn ahead of the takeover agreement.

This would mean the acquisition of 27 aircraft fleet for about Rs 24.5 bn, a price significntly lower than the valuation of upto one billion dollar that Sahara Airlines had done through Ernst and Young.

While Jet officials were not avialbale for comments, sources said that Sahara had also agreed to forego its claim on Air Sahara brnd and it was up to Goyal's company to decide the next course of action indicating that in next two-three months Jet would merge the brand in the parent company. On the Cricket's sponsorship that it clinched last month, Sahara sources said that this would continue with the Group.

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