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Air India Sale: “Got Multiple Interests” Says Government

The government has got multiple interests for the divestment of its stake in Air India, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, has said. “Multiple expressions of interest have been received for strategic disinvestment of Air India. The transaction will now move to the second stage,” the secretary said in a statement on Twitter. While no further detail was available at the moment, Moneycontrol has confirmation that Tata Sons and a consortium consisting of Air India employees and a US-based fund have submitted bids. The government has substantially sweetened the sale terms for the national carrier. It has offered for sale its 100 percent stake in AI and AI Express — instead of 76 percent in the first attempt — and the entire 50 percent in ground handling joint venture AI-SATS. The government on December 10 said it will intimate qualified interested bidders (QIBs) of Air India on January 5 next year, instead of the earlier decided date of December 29, 2020. Apart from Air India, its low-cost arm Air India Express is also on sale. As per the Air India EoI floated by DIPAM in January, 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, while the rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle.

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