Thursday, August 13, 2020

Grapevine: Tatas seek financial partner for Air India

The steel-to-software Tata group is seeking financial partners to join its bid for national carrier Air India, a media report said.

Citing people in the know, Business Standard said that the group will offer the financial partner a minority stake in the special purpose vehicle that will bid for the airline.

The people added that the financial investors including US-based private equity funds are keen to partner with the Tata group for their experience in running Vistara and AirAsia India. Vistara is a full-service airline that the Tata group runs in a joint venture with Singapore Airlines while budget carrier AirAsia India is its joint venture with Malaysian carrier AirAsia.

The Indian government is planning to sell its entire stake in Air India, after a previous attempt to sell a majority stake in the loss-making airline failed in 2018.

The government had in January invited initial offers for Air India by March 17 but has extended the deadline till August 31 in the wake of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Potential bidders have been deterred by the national carrier’s high debt and losses. Air India, which operates both domestic and international routes, has total debt of around $3.3 billion.

12/08/20 Ankit Agarwal/VCCircle
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