National Affairs

Air India Bid Deadline May Be Extended Till 15 Dec.Govt To Ease Asset Valuation Norm

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United States-based fund Interups Incorporated is expected to put forward its bid for troubled national carrier Air India (AI) soon. Interups’ bid includes an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) structure that will subsume the airline’s revenue generating arms – separated from core operations – to encourage participation from institutional investors, Business Standard reported. It has already completed its valuation of Air India and has initiated talks with Indian banks and investors for a joint bid through the InvIT route, it added.The development is significant and may come as a “pleasant surprise to the Indian government”, as previous frontrunner Tata is now dealing with a $20 billion buyout of the Mistry family’s 18.37 percent stake in Tata Sons and fundraising problems with foreign airline partners in its aviation joint venture Vistara, a source told the paper. Meanwhile to attract potential suitors, the government will ease asset valuation norms for Air India by allowing bidders to put in offers on an enterprise value basis. To begin with, the government is likely to further extend the deadline for putting in a preliminary expression of interest for the loss-making national carrier to December 15.

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