Tata Group take back control of Air India after a 67-year hiatus
Panel of ministers accept proposal from officials recommending the group
India's Tata Sons has been selected as the winning bidder for the debt-laden state-run airline Air India, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
A panel of ministers accepted a proposal from officials recommending the salt-to-software conglomerate ahead of an offer from Ajay Singh, promoter of India's airline operator Spicejet Ltd, the report said.
A spokesperson for Tata Sons declined to comment. A finance ministry spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters message seeking comment, while Air India declined to comment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been pushing to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, kept aloft by a bailout since 2012.
The government loses nearly 200 million rupees every day to run the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of over 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials have said.
An effort to auction a majority stake almost three years ago drew no bids, forcing the government to ease the terms. It had also extended the deadline multiple times due to the pandemic.
Tata’s association with Air India dates back to 1932, when the airline was founded by the group, but it was nationalised in 1953. However, it's now back in the hands of its owners after a hiatus of 67 years.
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