Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Now Emirates too pulls out of race to buy Air India; says no plans to acquire any airline

Just a day after Jet Airways rescinded its interest from participating in the disinvestment process of debt-laden Air India, Emirates on Wednesday also denied plans to buy or acquire the national carrier. The company has no plans to acquire any airline but will partner with airlines where our customers benefit, CNBC TV18 reported citing Emirates response to its query. On Tuesday, major Indian international carrier Jet Airways had announced that it’s not interested to acquire the national carrier, giving a major blow to government’s plans to privatise Air India.

IndiGo and SpiceJet have already ruled out bids to buy or acquire stakes in the debt-ridden national carrier.  On the basis of our review and after considering terms of the offer in the information memorandum, the company has decided not to participate in the Air India privatisation process, Jet Airways’ deputy chief executive, Amit Agarwal said in a statement emailed to AFP.

Reuters also reported citing some analysts that the high levels of debt at Air India discouraged the airlines to bid for stakes especially considering the fact that the company itself is working on a plan to cut down its indebtedness. IndiGo had given reasons that it didn’t want to buy national carrier’s domestic and international networks together.

In March this year, the central government had made announcement to sell 76 percent stake in Air India, as per the preliminary information memorandum that was released on strategic disinvestment of the national carrier. The Civil Aviation Ministry also invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for the sale of stake in Air India and two of its subsidiaries.

The preliminary report released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on March 28 had said that national carrier Air India’s buyer will also have to take on debts of  Rs 33,392 crore.
11/04/18 Financial Express