Kalrock Capital & ML Jalan Buy Jet Airways: Meet the New Owners

The consortium comprising Kalrock Capital and Murali L Jalan has been chosen to revive the hard-pressed airline.

2 min read

UK-based financial advisory firm Kalrock Capital and investor Murali Lal Jalan on Tuesday, 22 June, were approved as the new owners of the Jet Airways airline by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

The consortium comprising Kalrock Capital and Jalan had emerged as the top bidder by the airline's creditors in October, and has been chosen to revive the hard-pressed Jet Airways after a long resolution process that lasted for almost two years.


Kalrock Capital

A global capital management firm, Kalrock Capital is headquartered in London and is primarily active in three verticals – real estate, venture capital, and special situations.

The company has been an investor in alternative asset classes for over 20 years, both as a principal investor as well as in co-investment syndicates.

The venture capital wing of the firm works in the fields of consumer internet, as a service/enterprise software, clean tech and e-mobility. The firm also finances real estate projects alongside developers in the German-speaking market.

The special situations arm of the company is experienced in financial innovation using special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and credit instruments to protect the capital entrusted to them.

Kalrock Capital will be focused on keeping Jet Airways as a full service airline, rather than convert it into a budget airline, Manoj Narender Madnani, a board member of the firm, had told Bloomberg Quint in October.

Speaking about the company’s plans for revamping the airline, Madnani said, “There is going to be high level of corporate governance at the core, which is what we bring as our expertise.”

Murali Lal Jalan

Murali Lal Jalan, the UAE-based Indian investor who is partnering with Kalrock Capital in the Jet Airways deal, was brought in to provide expertise as an Indian businessman in the global market, Madnani indicated.

Jalan, who keeps a low profile, began working in his family's paper business in the 1980s, as per an Economic Times report. He later expanded the paper business by acquiring Kanoi Paper and Industries, which was subsequently named Agio paper. The company's production activities have now been suspended since it faced a lawsuit for pollution-related issues in its manufacturing process in 2010.

The businessman then attempted to make a transition to the healthcare sector, and reportedly went on to buy a stake worth Rs 75 crore in Dr Naresh Trehan and Associates Health Services.

Jalan, whose net worth was estimated to be Rs 939 crore at the end of 2019, recently also negotiated a deal with the Uzbekistan government to launch a new airline as well as build another airport in the country, as per a Mint report.

"The aviation sector underwent substantial correction on account of COVID-19 and created an opportune time to enter the sector. Our vision for Jet Airways is to operate the carrier as a full-service airline, both domestic and international," Jalan was quoted as saying.

(With inputs from Bloomberg Quint, The Economic Times, and Mint)

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