Thursday, December 31, 2020

Government removes January 5 deadline for intimating qualified bidders for Air India

New Delhi: The government has removed the January 5, 2021, for notifying qualified bidders for Air India. The transaction adviser will now inform the qualified parties that submitted their expression of interest (EOI) for the airline.

There are at least two confirmed EOIs for AI — from the airline’s founder Tata Group that is largely seen to be winner for the bid and a consortia of about 200 AI employees led by its director (commercial) Meenakshi Mallik. New York-based Interups Inc has withdrawn from the process. A few others like SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh are also learnt to have expressed interest in the airline but there is no confirmation from them so far.

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on Wednesday issued a corrigendum to the AI divestment process about the earlier announced January 5, 2021, deadline for informing the qualified EOI submitters.

“Post completion of EOIs received, the transaction advisor will directly intimate the qualified interest bidders in relation to their qualification and the next steps for he proposed transaction,” DIPAM note says.

AI’s potential buyers will bid on enterprise value (EV) basis. Which means instead of being required to take on a pre-fixed level of Rs 23,000 crore debt of the airline, the qualified entities will quote a EV based in the financial bids they submit on their estimate of the combined value of AI’s equity and debt.

31/12/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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