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Pawan Hans privatisation: Govt invites bids from shortlisted bidders

Pawan Hans privatisation: Govt invites bids from shortlisted bidders

Completion of the process of strategic disinvestment of PHL depends upon the success of the bid, Govt stated.

In the Union Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that disinvestment of Pawan Hans would be completed in this fiscal In the Union Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that disinvestment of Pawan Hans would be completed in this fiscal

The government has invited financial bids from shortlisted bidders for the strategic sale of Pawan Hans, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Gen (Dr) V K Singh said in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Thursday. The Centre owns 51 per cent stake while Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) holds the remaining 49 per cent stake in the helicopter service provider company.

In the reply, the minister stated that after evaluation of the technical bids received, bidders have been shortlisted. He also mentioned, "Completion of the process of strategic disinvestment of PHL depends upon the success of the bid. Transaction Advisor has been engaged to facilitate process of disinvestment."

NITI Aayog in its recommendations on strategic disinvestment of Central Public Sector Undertakings recommended to sell government-owned shares of Pawan Hans Limited through outright sale to an identified buyer discovered through a two-stage auction process. Accordingly, the Centre had given in-principle approval for disinvestment of entire shareholding of the company. After evaluation of the technical bids received, bidders have been shortlisted, the minister further informed via the written reply.

In 2018, the government had invited bids to sell its stake in Pawan Hans. However, the process was withdrawn after ONGC decided to sell its 49 per cent stake in the company along with the government's. In 2019, a second attempt was made to sell the company but it failed to receive investor response.

However, earlier this year in February, the company received multiple preliminary bids for its privatisation process, but the divestment process was halted due to the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19 in India.

Set up in 1985, Pawan Hans has a fleet of over 40 helicopters and almost 900 employees, 450 of whom are on permanent roles.