India's Jet Airways board agrees deal with Etihad

The board of Indian carrier Jet Airways said Wednesday it had agreed to sell a near 32 percent stake in the group to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad in a deal worth 20.4 billion rupees ($380 million).

The acquisition, which still needs to be approved by Jet shareholders, would be the first between an existing Indian carrier and a foreign airline since the government eased restrictions on foreign investment in September last year.

A statement from debt-laden Jet to the Bombay Stock Exchange said the company would sell 27 million shares to Etihad, at 754.74 rupees ($13.7) per share, on a preferential basis.

The deal comes after Asia's biggest low-cost airline, AirAsia, announced it would set up a no-frills carrier in India with the Tata conglomerate. The AirAsia-Tata venture is expected to start operations later in 2013.