Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Air India wings to be clipped before body is sold

New Delhi: Having tried various permutations and combinations to dilute its stake in Air India, the Centre now proposes to carve out and sell the subsidiaries of the national carrier first before putting the airline itself on the block.

“One of the options being considered is to divest the five subsidiaries one by one,” a government official familiar with the deliberations told BusinessLine. “Money earned thus will be used to strengthen the balance-sheet of the parent firm. Once that happens, Air India’s valuation will improve, which, in turn, will help in its disinvestment.”

This is a follow-up to the June 18 meeting chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and attended by Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, besides senior officials from the ministries of Finance and Civil Aviation. The Group of Ministers reviewed the process after the government failed to get a single bid for the debt-ridden airline.
03/07/18 Shishir Sinha/Business Line