Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Air India divestment: Govt may create separate company to hive off debt

The government is considering creating a separate company in which it will park nearly half of Air India's massive Rs 55,000 crore debt, sources have told CNBC-TV18.

The sources said that Rs 25,000 crore worth of leasing loans and bad assets will be hived off via this entity. The government is also mulling selling off profitable assets separately and is firm on taking the e-auction route.

The Group of Ministers met last week to decide on the contours of divesting the national carrier. They have reportedly agreed on hiring independent valuers - financial, technical, and legal, for the airline's assets and will float a request for proposals soon. They are focusing on making it lucrative for other companies to bid on Air India.

Sources said the disinvestment is likely to be a long-drawn process and the government is targeting December this year for a final decision.

Meanwhile, weeks after IndiGo expressed interest in Air India’s businesses, private equity players KKR and Warburg Pincus are eyeing the national carriers units.
24/07/17 Ashpreet Sethi/CNBC-TV18/moneycontrol.com