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Govt. extends time till March 6 for bidders to pose queries on Air India sale

The government in January restarted the divestment process of Air India and invited bids for selling 100% of its equity in the state-owned airline. | File

The government in January restarted the divestment process of Air India and invited bids for selling 100% of its equity in the state-owned airline. | File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The last date for putting bids is March 17 and interested bidders for Air India should have a net worth of ₹3,500 crore

The government has extended the time till March 6 for bidders to pose additional queries regarding sale of its 100% stake in Air India.

The government has issued the first set of clarification on Air India disinvestment answering queries of interested bidders on the ‘confidentiality undertaking’ listed out in the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) issued on January 27.

Also read | How passengers affected Air India’s finances

The last date for submission of written queries on PIM and Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) was originally set at February 11, following which the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on February 21 issued a set of 20 clarifications on the queries raised.

The additional time period for submission of written queries on PIM and SPA is till March 6, 2020, the DIPAM said.

Also read | What is the divestment of Air India all about?

The government in January restarted the divestment process of Air India and invited bids for selling 100% of its equity in the state-owned airline, including Air India’s 100% shareholding in AI Express Limited and 50%in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

The last date for putting bids is March 17 and interested bidders for Air India should have a net worth of ₹3,500 crore.

After its unsuccessful bid to sell Air India in 2018, the government this time has decided to offload its entire stake. In 2018, the government had offered to sell its 76% stake in the airline.

Of the total debt of ₹60,074 crore as of March 31, 2019, the buyer would be required to absorb ₹23,286.5 crore, while the rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), the special purpose vehicle.

Also read | Air India has dues of over ₹822 crore towards VVIP charter flights

As a precursor to Air India sale, the Cabinet in February 2019 approved setting up AIAHL to transfer ₹29,464 crore worth loans of the national carrier and its four subsidiaries — Air India Air Transport Services (AIATSL), Airline Allied Services (AASL), Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) and Hotel Corporation of India (HCI).

Also non-core assets — painting and artefacts — as well as other non-operational assets of the national carrier too will be transferred to the SPV.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:32:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/govt-extends-time-till-march-6-for-bidders-to-pose-queries-on-air-india-sale/article30903753.ece

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