Rest of Asia

Tata Group makes financial bid for Air India sale

ANI/New Delhi
Filed on September 15, 2021
Photo: Reuters

The process to sell the airline to private players is now in the final phase

The Tata Group has made its financial bid for the debt-laden national carrier Air India (AI) on Wednesday, said government sources.

Meanwhile, the government said that financial bids for Air India disinvestment has been received and the process to sell the airline to private players is now in the final phase.

“Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser. Process now moves to concluding stage,” tweeted Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

Earlier today, the government initiated the process of financial bids for the debt-laden national carrier. Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia made it clear that September 15 date for the process is fixed and will not change.

After failing to find any buyer for a 76 per cent stake in Air India in 2018, the government is expected to complete the sale of the national carrier with at least two buyers expected to submit financial bids by September 15.

Earlier, industry sources told ANI that Tata Group, through its holding company, and SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh his personal capacity, are likely to make its financial bid for the airline.

Air India is laden with a huge debt of around Rs43,000 crores of which Rs22,000 crores will also be transferred to the Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL).

“The debt of the airline has now increased to Rs43,000 crores and all these loans are under government guarantee. And the government will bear this debt before the airline is transferred to the new owners,” sources said.

The government declined to share any details on expectations from the sale of Air India.

The Centre is planning to sell a 100 per cent stake in the airline, and its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express, as well as a 50 per cent stake in ground handling company Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS).

Other properties, including the Air India building in Mumbai, Airlines House in Delhi, will also be part of the deal.

At present, Air India has control over 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports as well as 900 slots abroad.

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