The successful bidder of Mini Ratna Central Public Sector Unit Pawan Hans Limited (PIL) cannot retrench/terminate any of the permanent employees for a period of one year from the date of taking over the company, according to the preliminary information memorandum for inviting expression of interest for the strategic sale of the company.
The information memorandum (IM) was released by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) today. The IM further says that in the event of a reduction (including retrenchment/termination) of the employees, the successful bidder should, for a period of one year from consummation of the proposed transaction, ensure that the company offer its employees voluntary retirement on terms no less favourable than what the Department of Public Enterprises offers.
The total manpower of the company as on July 31, 2020 was 686 -- 363 regular and 323 contractual employees. The manpower comprises 51 executives, 127 Pilots, 99 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs), 141 Technicians and 268 other Technical and Non-Technical employees.
The government has put on block its entire 51 per cent stake in helicopter services company. The information memorandum also says that the successful bidder will also have the option of buying ONGC's 49 per cent stake in PHL. The ONGC board has also decided to sell its entire shareholding of 49 per cent in PHL at the same derived price per share and on the same terms & conditions as determined by the government, says the document released by the government.
Apart from the employee-related restrictions, the successful bidder will be required to lock in its shareholding in PHL and in the special purpose vehicle (in case investment in PHL is made through a special purpose vehicle by a consortium or otherwise) for a period of one year and will not be permitted to cede with management control of PHL during this period.
Besides, there can be no change in management control of the successful bidder for a period of one year.
Any private or public limited company, limited liability partnership, body corporate, whether registered or incorporated in India or outside, or Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) registered with SEBI are eligible to bid for the PHL.
However, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) or Central Government-owned Cooperative Societies -- entities where the direct holding of the Central Government or of other CPSEs is 51 per cent or more - will not be allowed to bid unless 'if desirable in public interest'.
Pawan Hans Limited posted revenue of Rs 376 crore in 2019-20 and a total loss of Rs 28 crore. In 2018-19, it had posted revenue of Rs 414 crore and a loss of Rs 69 crore.
According to the information memorandum, the drop in revenue from operations in 2015-16 can be attributed to lower flying hours due to a reduction in operational fleet caused by three accidents during 2015. Revenue has further declined in 2019-20 due to ageing of helicopters as vintage clauses enforced by various customers act as a hurdle to participate and win new businesses.