The government on Wednesday said it has received financial bids from interested companies for its divestment of national carrier Air India.
In a tweet, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said, “Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser. Process now moves to concluding stage.”
Today was the last day for submitting the financial bids for Air India.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Tata Sons told news agency PTI that it has submitted its bid to acquire the airline.
The government is looking to sell 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India's 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd.
The Tata Group was among the multiple entities that had put in initial expression of interest (EoI) in December 2020 for buying the national carrier.
With previous attempts since 2017 failing to get any significant interest and after receiving feedback from potential investors, the government had in October last year sweetened the EoI clause relating to transfer of Air India's debt to the new investor, giving bidders flexibility to decide on the quantum of humongous debt they want to absorb.
As per the EoI floated by DIPAM in January 2020, of the airline's total debt of Rs 60,074 crore as of March 31, 2019, the buyer would be required to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore. The rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle.
The strategic sale of Air India was approved by the Cabinet committee on Economic Affairs in February 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic had delayed the proposed sale of the airline.
The government plans to raise Rs 1.75 lakh crore in the current financial year through disinvestment and strategic sale.
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