Private equity funds KKR, Blackstone, and TPG Capital, as well as Lufthansa, Swiss, and Singapore Airlines are in talks with consultancy firms to conduct due diligence of Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l), BloombergQuint has reported.

All companies have reportedly also held preliminary talks with State Bank of India, which leads the consortium of lenders to the debt-ridden airline.

The deadline for the Expressions of Interest (EOI) for new investors is on April 10. A potential bidder would have to take at least a 31.2% stake in Jet Airways and could acquire up to a 75% stake.

Meanwhile, founder and ex-Chairman Naresh Goyal has offered to pledge the remainder of his shares to the banks if they immediately release the first tranche of the previously agreed aid amounting to INR1.5 billion rupees (USD217 million).

Goyal still formally owns a 51% stake in the airline although he already pledged a 31.2% stake to the consortium of lenders. Under the previously approved plan, the lenders would assume a 50.1% stake, including the shares pledged by Goyal, in an equity-for-debt swap. The ownership restructuring would be temporary until a new investor is found.

Jet Airways is under growing financial pressure as lessors start repossessing aircraft and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is in the process of reallocating the carrier's slots at Delhi Int'l and Mumbai Int'l. The National Aviators Guild has also set an April 14 deadline for the clearing of salary dues to the pilots, threatening to call a strike otherwise.