Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Air India sale to take off as bids likely to open by Wednesday; winners may be announced in October

After years of back and forth, the privatisation of Air India may finally be on the verge of completion. The bids for the state-run airline may be opened as soon as Wednesday, according to a report in Economic Times.

The report added that the winning bidder may be announced by the government by mid-October. Air India and Spicejet’s Ajay Singh are believed to be strong contenders. The deadline for submitting of financial bidders by interested parties ended on September 15.  

The government wants to sell its 100% stake in Air India, Air India Express and 50% in ground AISTS and has received bids from Tata Group and Ajay Singh.

Air India’s sale is a cornerstone of the government’s disinvestment agenda and is being overseen by Amit Shah-led committee, the report further added.

This is the second attempt by the government to sell the airline as an earlier plan to offload 76% in the airline which failed to take off with bidders as the government wanted to retain a 26% stake in the airline.

As part of the Air India disinvestment plan, the airline will be transferred to a private owner along with its Rs 23,000 crore debt. The plan includes transferring the remaining debt to the government-owned Air India Assets Holdings Ltd (AIAHL), a new company that will house the carrier’s assets such as Air India building in Mumbai, Airlines House in Delhi, land in Delhi’s Connaught Place and various other housing societies in Delhi and other cities.


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