Air India sale: Government has decided to sell 100 per cent stake in state-owned carrier Air India. Centre has set March 17 as the final deadline for submission of expression of interest (EOI). The selected bidder will have to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore of the total Rs 58,282 crore debt of the airline, along with other liabilities.
As per the lock-in conditions, for a period of one year from the date of selection of the bidder, it will not -- directly or indirectly -- be allowed to transfer equity securities of Air India. The final bidder can't transfer equity securities of a special purpose vehicle or SPV (in case investment in AI is made through a SPV). The bidder also can't transfer equity securities of Air India subsidiaries, AIXL and AI-SATS, including their legal or beneficial ownership. The government notification says the selected bidder will have to ensure there's no change in the control of the final bidder of Air India, Air India Express and AI-SATS (Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited).
Any private limited company, public limited company, limited liability partnership or body corporate can invest in the state-owned airline provided it gets applicable statutory approvals. For submitting EOIs (expression of interest) and for being considered for subsequent qualification, a bidder should have a minimum net worth -- the aggregate value of the paid-up equity share capital and all reserves -- of Rs 3,500 crore. In the case of LLP, the net worth should be calculated as the aggregate value of partners' capital and all its reserves.
As part of the strategic disinvestment, Air India will also sell 100 per cent stake in low-cost airline Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in joint venture AISATS. The Centre has again decided to sell Air India after an attempt to sell a majority stake failed to draw bids around two years back.
Edited by Manoj Sharma