IndiGo declines most in year

By BLOOMBERG

NEW DELHI • IndiGo, India’s biggest airline, fell the most in a year amid reports its billionaire founders have hired law firms after differences cropped up between them.

Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal are trying to sort out disagreements about the carrier’s future strategy and clauses in the company’s shareholder agreement, the Economic Times newspaper reported yesterday, citing unnamed people close to the development.

Legal firms Khaitan & Co and J Sagar Associates are working with the founders to find a solution, the newspaper said.

The growth strategy of the airline “remains unchanged and firmly in place”, CEO Ronojoy Dutta said in an email to employees, which was seen by Bloomberg. Representatives for IndiGo declined to comment.

Shares of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which operates IndiGo, slid 9% to 1,464.90 rupees (RM87.89) in Mumbai yesterday, their biggest drop since last May. The stock, which closed at an all-time high on Wednesday, has gained about 26% so far this year.

“Investors are likely jittery with the news flow and want clarity on future strategy — does it stick to its core domestic market, or embark on an aggressive international push which could prove costly?” said Rahul Kapoor, a Singapore-based analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “We do not see any operational or earnings impact.”

IndiGo is one of the few Indian carriers with enough cash to aggressively expand, and it’s been mapping out a way to build a long-haul, lowcost business to take passengers from places like New Delhi to London. — Bloomberg