Lulu Group International does not have plans to invest in the ailing Indian airline Jet Airways, chairman and managing director of the UAE-based retail giant M A Yusuffali said.
He added that the company is to focus on its investments in the retail and hospitality sectors.
Naresh Goyal, promoter of the troubled Indian airline Jet Airways, had approached Lulu Group International to invest in the Mumbai-based carrier, according to media reports.
Goyal was in talks with Yusuffali, along with his ongoing negotiations with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways to increase its stake in Jet Airways from the existing 24% to 49%, Indian media reports said.
Jet Airways is at pains to attract an Indian investor in the airline as the Indian foreign direct investment rule does not allow a foreign airline or foreign investor to have management control of an Indian airline.
A major Indian businessman told Arabian Business that there is a strong possibility of the Lulu Group owner weighing up the option of joining the board of the Jet Airways management as this could drive him to prominence nationally in India, without having to make any key investment in the airline.
Yusuffali has made investments in two airport ventures in the South Asian nation, namely Cochin International Airports Ltd (CIAL) and the new Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL). He had previously joined the board of India’s national carrier Air India.