With the government supporting for Air India’s disinvestment, industrial conglomerate Adani Group may appear as one of the debt-laden national carrier’s bidders, reports stated. In internal rounds of consultations on whether or not to send an Expression of Interest (EoI) and that the discussions are still in the preliminary stage, according to highly placed sources community.
If the company actually publishes an EoI, it would be a big move to further diversify the company which has business interests across sectors from edible oil, food to mining and minerals. It also entered the airport operational business and in 2019 won bids to privatize six airports, including Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru.
The company was not commenting on the matter upon being contacted by IANS. Air India is one of the most critical divestment targets. This is to meet a whopping Rs 2.1 lakh crore target for the current fiscal year. In January, the government resumed the airline’s disinvestment process. Also, welcomed bids to sell 100 per cent of its assets in the state-owned airline. This including the 100 per cent shareholding of Air India in AI Express Ltd. Also, 50% in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.
Government Holds Entire Air India Stake
It follows their ineffective bid to sell Air India in 2018. This time the government has decided to unload its entire stake. She had offered to sell the airline’s 76 per cent stake in 2018. The buyer would be expected to bear Rs 23.286 crore. It is out of the total debt of Rs 60.074 crore as of March 31, 2019. Air India has a total operational fleet of 146 aircraft along with its subsidiary, Air India Express. In addition, the disinvestment department has extended to March 6. It is the last date for written requests on the Quality Data Memorandum and Shares Purchase Agreement.
The last date for a written query on PIM and SPA is 11 February. It is after which the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). It released 20 clarifications on the questions raised and anticipated on 21 February. Any delay in the reluctantly rolled-out timeline would also delay the DIPAM’s plan. It is to recognize the pre-qualified bidders by March 31 as well as the invitation for financial bids. It supposes to take more than 2 months to complete Air India’s sale after the pre-qualify bidders select.
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