Friday, October 08, 2021

Govt to announce who gets to take Air India home; Tatas expected to win

The government will announce Air India's winning bid on Friday and Tata Sons are expected to emerge as the winning bidders. If the bid goes in the favour of Tatas, the group will again become the own Air India, having sold it to the government earlier in 1946.

The government will sell 100 percent stake in the airline, including 100 percent holding in AI Express Ltd and 50 percent holding in Air India SATS Airport Services.

Secretary of Civil Aviation and Department of Investment and Public Asset Management will announce formally make the announcement on October 8, 4 pm.

Though the divestment process had begun in January 2020, it was delayed due to the outbreak of pandemic. In April 2021, government had asked bidders to put in their bids. Tata Group was among multiple entities that had put an expression of interest for buying the Maharaja carrier.

A panel -- Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) -- was formed under the leadership of Home Minister Amit Shah to approve the winning bids for the home carrier. The evaluation of winning bids had begun by the end of September.

The financial bid offering are being evaluated against an undisclosed reserve price and the government will accept the bid offering the highest price above the benchmark. If Tatas are successful, they will helm the airline for the second time.

Tatas currently operate a premium full-service carrier, Vistara, in partnership with Singapore Airlines.

08/10/21 CNBC TV18

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