Monday, April 05, 2021

Tata group may submit bid for Air India this month, says report

The Tata group, said to be the front-runner to buy state-owned Air India, and the government are in the final stages of inking a deal, Livemint reported on Monday.

The two parties have been able to iron out differences over the three key matters — pension liabilities, real estate assets, and debt — and Tata Sons Ltd is expected to submit an offer this month, Mint reported, quoting two people aware of the fresh developments.

One of the people Mint spoke to said a significant number of the company's employees are set to retire in the coming years and many of them want the government to ensure there are no issues in pension-related matters.

Besides a large fleet of carriers, the state and the Tata group are also in talks for the ownership of Air India's real estate assets that include staff quarters and residential colonies, the second person told the daily.

The central government has been trying to sell Air India for a long time now. India's national carrier, which has been running on government bail-out, has not made any profit since 2007, the year it was merged with Indian Airlines. While the deal may get Tata access to significant slots at domestic and international airports, Air India also comes with huge debts and pension liabilities.

05/04/21 CNBC TV18

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