After a competitive bidding process last year, in which the Tata Group emerged as the winner to take over Air India, a senior official of the airline stated that its disinvestment will take place on January 27, 2022.
The closing balance sheet on January 20 is to be provided today, January 24, so that it can be reviewed by Tata and any changes can be made on Wednesday, Vinod Hejmadi, Director Finance, Air India said in an email to employees.
"The next three days will be hectic for our department and I request all of you to give your best in these last three four days before we get divested. We may have to work late in the night to complete the task given to us," he wrote.
On October 8, the government had announced that Talace Private Limited -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata group's holding company Tata Sons -- had won the bid to acquire the debt-laden airline.
Following that, on October 11, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was issued to the Tata Group confirming the government's willingness to sell its 100 per cent stake in the airline. On October 25, the Centre signed the share purchase agreement (SPA) for this deal.
As a part of the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS. At that time, the government had stated that it wanted to complete the transactions, which included Tatas paying Rs 2,700 crore in cash, by the end of December. However, the process got delayed till January 2022.
Tatas had outbid the Rs 15,100-crore offer by a consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh and the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore set by the government for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in the loss-making carrier.
While this will be the first privatisation since 2003-04, Air India will be the third airline brand in the Tatas' stable — it holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.
(With inputs from Poulomi Saha)
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