Monday, February 24, 2020

Adani Group eyes Air India, talks in preliminary stage

Billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani backed diversified conglomerate Adani group is weighing a potential bid for state-run carrier Air India, a source told Moneycontrol.

If the deal fructifies, it will mark the Adani group’s big-bang entry into the domestic airline market.
“The Adani group has engaged advisors and is evaluating submission of an expression of interest (EoI) at this stage. Their interest is preliminary and clarifications need to be sought from the government on the bidding process,” a source said.
Another source said the Adani group is looking at this opportunity, but is ‘yet to take a final call’. “With this transaction, the group can diversify and bolster their presence in the sector.”
Moneycontrol could not independently verify if the Adani group would go alone or be part of a consortium that would bid for the beleaguered airline.

In response to a query from Moneycontrol, an Adani Group spokesperson said, “As part of company policy, we do not comment on market speculation.”
In 2019, the Adani group forayed into airport operations and maintenance. It created a separate entity -- Adani Airports -- when it bagged bids on privatisation of six airports owned by the Airports Authority of India. The group won a 50-year contract for operation, management and development of the Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvanathapuram and Mangaluru airports. The six airports together handled 30 million passengers 23.6 million domestic and 6.4 million international) last fiscal, a YoY growth of 22 percent. The group has committed an investment of Rs 10,000 crore for the airport business by 2026.
24/02/20 Ashwin Mohan/Moneycontrol
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