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Harish Salve-ELP-Gagrats team up for $379m Jet-Etihad transaction opposite Amarchand-DLA

Airline investments spinning up
Airline investments spinning up

Senior counsel Harish Salve advised alongside law firms Economic Laws Practice (ELP) and Gagrats on the $379m (Rs 2,060 crore) investment by United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Etihad Airways into Jet Airways.

ELP partners Darshan Upadhaya and Sujjain Talwar acted for Jet with Gagrats partner Rustam Gagrat, and Salve.

Talwar said that it was unusual for senior counsel and law firms to work together on M&A transactions: Salve had been involved in review of documentation and the structuring.

“Harish has been [Jet promoter Naresh] Goyal’s long-standing counsel; Gagrats has been Jet Airways’ solicitors since inception,” said Talwar. “The deal was large and intricate. Just as DLA and Amarchand were needed for Etihad.”

Amarchand fielded Mumbai-based managing partner Cyril Shroff, principal associate Smruti Shah, and competition partner Nisha Uberoi.

DLA Piper London-based partners Jon Hayes and Hamburg-based partner Benjamin Parameswaran advised on non-Indian corporate laws, while London partner Alexandra Kamerling and Cologne-based partner Jan Dreyer assisted on competition aspects.

Jet issued 27.3m new shares to Etihad at Rs 754.74 per share, which will result in the UAE carrier holding 24 per cent of Jet’s share capital.

This is the first acquisition in an existing Indian airline since the government opened up  foreign direct investment (FDI) in aviation in September 2012. It was also the first M&A deal in the airline sector that was notified to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for review, according to a statement from Amarchand. [Reuters]

HSBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) acted as financial advisers, while Nathan Associates and Seabury APG LLC acted as competition economists.

The deal was signed yesterday (24 April) and is hoped to close within two months.

Amarchand is also advising Etihad on investing a $150m majority stake into Jet’s frequent flyer program, Jet Privilege, which is expected to be completed in the next six months.

Photo by Kamel Lebtahi

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