Jet chairman Goyal paves way for Etihad deal through stake increase

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Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal has acquired an additional 31.8 million shares in the carrier, doubling his stake, and paving the way for the Jet-Etihad Airways deal.

The shares were purchased from holding company Tail Winds for about Indian rupees (Rs) 16.7 billion ($295 million), bringing Goyal's stake in the carrier from 36.9% to 66%, the carrier said in a disclosure on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

This is the second such transaction in as many weeks. Last week, Goyal bought 25.1 million shares from Tail Winds at Rs14.4 billion.

Tail Winds, 100% owned by Goyal, is registered in the Isle of Man.

Last year, the Indian government eased foreign ownership restrictions related to Indian airlines, allowing foreign carriers to own up to 49% of a domestic carrier.

Abu-Dhabi based Etihad is investing $379 million to acquire a 24% stake in Jet and forge a "strategic partnership", pending regulatory approval.

Goyal's objective is to retain 51% of Jet, giving him majority ownership and effective control of the carrier, following the completion of the Etihad deal.