Monday, March 08, 2021

Tata Sons, Spicejet in the race for Air India, after employees’ consortium was disqualified

After the consortium of Air India employees backed by NRI businessman Laxmi Prasad and his New York-based Interups Fund was disqualified — only the Tata Group and India’s largest cargo operator Spicejet remain in the fray for buying the cash-strapped Air India, according to news reports.

According to an IANS report, the bids have been rejected after the evaluation of the expressions of interest (EoI), where multiple bids were received. The advisors were in touch with the interested bidders regarding several queries. The qualified bidders will be intimated only after the government is satisfied with the bidders' responses.

A group of 209 employees of Air India had also put in a bid. Media reports further indicated that Essar, Pavan Ruia of Dunlop and Falcon Tyres had also put in bids for Air India — however, the bids have been rejected.

A MoneyControl report quoting Air India’s commercial director Meenakshi Malik highlighted that the expression of interest for the privatisation by the Air India employee consortium hadn't made it to the next round of divestment.

"As of late last night, I have seen an email from the transaction advisor to the Government of India (Ernst & Young LLP), informing the employees of Air India that we have been unsuccessful in qualifying to the next phase of the ‘Disinvestment Acquisition process," Malik, who was leading the employee consortium told MoneyControl.

In a letter to Air India employees on March 8, the advisors said, “The EOI and the supporting documents submitted by you have been duly evaluated and have been found to not fulfil the eligibility requirements set out in the Preliminary Information Memorandum (as amended) (PIM) issued in respect of the strategic disinvestment of Air India Limited (AI) and is liable for disqualification.”

08/03/21 Business Insider

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