Friday, August 14, 2020

Tata Sons confirms it is weighing bid for Air India, may make formal bid by end of this month

Mumbai: The Tata Group has begun due diligence on beleaguered national carrier Air India and may make a formal bid close to the official deadline at the end of this month. The focus at the moment is to examine business synergies and viability, it is learnt.

Officials said it is too early for discussions around funding or the possible business structure till the due diligence is complete. Confirming the development officially for the first time, a Tata Sons spokesperson said: “Tata Sons is currently evaluating the proposal and will consider a bid after due consideration and at the appropriate time. There is no plan to bring in a financial partner.”

Other airlines interested in the national carrier are understood to be lobbying to carve out Air India Express to enable them to bid for the low-cost airline, according to people familiar with the bidding process. However, for now, the entire airline is on the block as one entity, including the real estate assets, said officials close to the Tata Group.

The conglomerate has engaged top legal firms and consultants to conduct the due diligence. There has been speculation about the group planning to merge AirAsia India (in which Tata Sons owns 51% stake) and Air India into a single entity after buying out joint venture partner Tony Fernandes.
14/08/20 Kala Vijayaraghavan/Economic Times
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