Air India disinvestment: Tata Sons, SpiceJet's Ajay Singh submit final bids
The Centre has just started the financial bids process for the national carrier, with Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stating that the deadline of September 15, 2021, is set in stone and would not be changed.
The debt-ridden national airline Air India on Wednesday received proposals from Tata Sons and SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh. "Transaction Adviser has received financial offers for the disinvestment of Air India. The process is currently in its final stages," stated DIPAM Secretary. The Centre has just started the financial bids process for the national carrier, with Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stating that the deadline of September 15, 2021, is set in stone and would not be changed.
Sources informed that if bids are good, Air India will be handed over by December. Following the failure to find a buyer for a 76 percent interest in Air India in 2018, the federal government expects to finalise the sale of the national carrier by September 15, with at least two purchasers likely to make financial offers. According to analysts, just two offers for the airlines have been made so far, with Tata Group being the leader in the Centre's divestment strategy.
After 2001 and 2017, the government has made three attempts to sell its share in Air India. When the government chose to sell its interest in the national airline in 2001 and 2017, the Tata Group was among the first to purchase a piece of it. This time, the government is seeking proposals for a strategic disinvestment of the government of India's whole interest in the airline. In addition, it has a 100% share in Air India Express Ltd and a 50% stake in Air India SATS.
The deadline for submitting preliminary bids has been delayed many times due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The procedure began in January 2020. The airlines would be sold with a debt of Rs 23,000 crore, with the remaining debt of Rs 22,000 crore going to government-owned Air India Asset Holdings (AIAHL). AIAHL will include Air India's businesses, such as Air India Engineering Services and Air India Air Transport Services.