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Final bids for Air India disinvestment today; Tata group, SpiceJet in competition

Following the failure to find a buyer for a 76 per cent share in Air India in 2018, the government is anticipated to finalise the sale of the national carrier by September 15, with at least two purchasers expected to submit financial proposals.
 

Final bids for Air India disinvestment today Tata group SpiceJet gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Sep 15, 2021, 2:56 PM IST
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The government on Wednesday began the process of financing bids for the debt-ridden national carrier Air India (AI), with Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stating that the September 15 deadline is set in stone and will not be changed. Following the failure to find a buyer for a 76 per cent share in Air India in 2018, the government is anticipated to finalise the sale of the national carrier by September 15, with at least two purchasers expected to submit financial proposals.

According to sources, Tata Group, through its holding company and SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh, is expected to make a cash proposal for the airline. The source is highly optimistic that Air India would receive a new bidder this time. Air India owes roughly 43,000 crores in debt, of which 22,000 crores would be transferred to the Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL).  The government refused to say how much money it expects to make from the sale of Air India.

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The government intends to sell its whole share in the airline, as well as its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express. In addition, Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited has a 50 per cent share in the ground handling company (AISATS). Other assets included in the deal are the Air India building in Mumbai and the Airlines House in Delhi. For AI staff and others, four acres of property at Connaught Place in Delhi and numerous housing complexes in Delhi, Mumbai, and other cities have been set aside. AIAHL will include Air India businesses, including Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) and Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AITSL). Air India currently controls 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking spaces in Indian airports and 900 slots internationally.

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