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Air India bidding process: All you need to know

Troubled Indian national carrier Air India’s disinvestment process is going on.

Photo:Air India

The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest (EoI) for the troubled Indian national airline Air India ended at 5 pm local time on Monday.

Along with 100% stake of the airline, the government is selling its low cost subsidiary Air India Express.

“Multiple expressions of interest have been received for strategic disinvestment of Air India. The Transaction will now move to the second stage,” Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said, adding that he’s satisfied that the sale process has moved to the next stage.

Here are the potential bidders:

Tata Group

India’s largest conglomerate, Tata Group, is believed to have submitted an EoI for Air India. Tata Sons has emerged as a front runner to take over 100% stake in Air India. It is believed that Tata Sons has submitted the EoI with AirAsia India, in which Tata Sons has a significant stake.

Interups Inc

New York based Interups Inc chairman Laxmi Prasad also had expressed plans to take part in the bidding process.

“Post acquisition, AI and our group shall sponsor aviation infrastructure investment trust … We are actively advocating air line routes, ground handling, training and other facilities into infrastructure placement. This leaves the current company to remain lean and operational. We are proposing Air India limited to continue as is with employees to own 51% and interups NRI group to own 49%, capital completely invested by the NRIs. Willing and continuing employees will be offered 51% in the consortium that acquires the airline. No capital investment is required. We hold 27635 qualified retirement asset accounts owned by US based NRIs.”, said Laxmi, Prasad, Chairman, Interups Inc.

Air India Employees Group

A group of 209 employees of Air India has submitted an expression of interest in partnership with Interups Inc. From the employees’ side, the bid process is being led by Meenakshi Mallik, Commercial Director, Air India.

Business Standard reports that Vistara would not be a part of the bid in the initial stage. However, Tata Sons would not be interested in having a 3rd airline so it could merge Air India and Vistara later on. Business standard also reports that the bid, jointly made by Interups Inc and Air India’s employee group, proposes 51 per cent stake to the Air India Employee Association, which includes 219 employees, including board members, as part of the consortium.

SpiceJet

SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh may have submitted EoI for Air India.

What will be next step?

Interested entities will need to submit physical bids within 15 days from 14th December,2020. After that, bidders who qualify to bid for Air India as per eligibility norms will be intimated on 5th January,2021.

What do you think of Air India’s disinvestment process? Let us know in the comments section below.

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