Monday, March 08, 2021

Employees out of reckoning to run Air India

New Delhi: Air India employees have been unsuccessful in their bid for being the new owners of Air India.

In a three-page letter to employees, Meenakshi Mallik, Commercial Director, has said that she has seen an email from the transaction advisor EY to the government, informing the employees of AI that they have been unsuccessful in qualifying for the next phase of the ‘Disinvestment Acquisition’ process.

The letter spells out three reasons for the Expression of Interest of the employees being disqualified. The reasons are non-submission of required three years audited financial statements for foreign consortium member, non-submission of information or details by interested bidders for investments in offshore companies, which forms a substantial part of the net worth of the foreign consortium member, and the foreign consortium member not being an appropriately regulated foreign investment fund as defined in the Preliminary Information Memorandum.

“It was certainly upsetting to read this, but what I found reassuring in the email is that the government had no objection or reservation whatsoever with any of the documentation furnished on behalf of the employees. This can only mean that the employees’ documentation was, in fact, perfect, which is a clear reflection of not just our sincerity in the process but also of our competence to have participated and, if selected, to run our airline,” Mallik’s letter says.

“While it is flattering to note that many wanted to associate themselves with us, we were, in fact, partnered with a financial fund based out of the Republic of Seychelles and dealt exclusively with it through the disinvestment process,” the letter adds.

Tata Sons is said to be the only entity which has confirmed its participation in AI’s bidding process. The promoter of SpiceJet is said to be in the reckoning, but the airline has not confirmed this.

08/03/21 Ashwini Phadnis/Business Line

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