Friday, February 05, 2021

Strictly maintain confidentiality of Air India bidders: Government

New Delhi: The department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) has asked the transaction adviser (TA) for Air India divestment to “strictly maintain the confidentiality of the potential bidders.”

It has also mandated that potential bidders will sign a “non-disclosure undertaking” about not revealing their identity. The government has appointed Ernst and Young LLP India (EY) as the transaction advisor for AI.

“The TA shall strictly maintain the confidentiality of the potential bidders from all persons including persons in government including the CPSE and non-government. However, if required, information may be shared with specified agencies in national interest upon an advice by the administrative ministry in writing,” DIPAM, which comes under the finance ministry, said in a note tweeted by the aviation ministry on Friday.

“Each of the potential bidders shall be assigned a ‘code’ by the TA. All activities including due diligence, site visits, bidding shall be performed using the ‘code’ only. The 'code' should be allotted in a manner that masks information about the identity, profile and the number of potential bidders/bidders, during the entire process of disinvestment. The TA shall issue an authorisation to the potential bidder for the diligence mentioning only the 'code' as ‘identity’,” it adds.

“A non disclosure agreement shall be signed by the potential bidder, inter alia, undertaking that the entity and its employees shall not reveal their identity and / or contact any member of CPSE or administrative ministry/DIPAM and also keep data/ information of CPSE strictly confidential.”

The government has received “multiple expressions of interest (EoI)” for Air India before the December 14, 2020, deadline. While the biggest name and strongest contender remains AI founder Tata Group which is learnt to have submitted via its AirAsia India, others who did so include a group of AI employees.

05/02/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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