Thursday, December 12, 2019

Government to divest AI, AI Express and AI-SATS as one entity

New Delhi: The government is going to offer Air India, AI Express and AISATS (airport service company) as a combined entity for sale, like the first attempted round of divestment tried in 2018. The sale of airline arm will be followed by divestment in Alliance Air; the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) arm AI Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), and AI Air Transport Service (AIATSL).
Last year, the process did not move ahead after the airline arm failed to find even a single bidder. To ensure that the Maharaja’s second divestment bid is successful, the government is reportedly looking at bidders to take on only aircraft-related loan, and not a majority of working capital loan. And the state is also looking at a near complete exit from the airline arm.
In the 2018 failed-divestment bid, the government had offered to sell 76% of Air India to private bidders. And bidders for the airline arm — AI, AI Express and AI-SATS — were expected to take over debt of Rs 24,576 crore and current liabilities of Rs 8,816 crore. These two conditions are likely to see a major shift this time.
12/12/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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