Air India: Government invites bids to sell 100% stake in debt-laden airline

Air India: Government invites bids to sell 100% stake in debt-laden airline

NEW DELHI: The government of India on Monday announced sale of 100 per cent stake in debt-laden Air India as it issued the preliminary bid document for the strategic disinvestment with the deadline for submitting expression of interest set as March 17.nnAs part of the strategic disinvestment, Air India would also sell 100 per cent stake in low-cost airline Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in joint venture AISATS, as per bid document issued on Monday.nnManagement control of the airline would also be transferred to the successful bidder.nnThis is the second time in less than two years that the government has come out with proposal for selling stake in Air India, which has been in the red for long.nnThe government has set March 17 as the deadline for submitting the expression of interest (EoI).nnAISATS is an equal joint venture between Air India and Singapore Airlines. It offers ground handling services.nnAir India also has interests in Air India Engineering Services, Air India Air Transport Services, Airline Allied Services and Hotel Corporation of India.nnThese entities are in the process of being transferred to a separate company — Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL) — and would not be a part of the proposed transaction, the document said.nnAccording to the document, debt of Rs 23,286.5 crore would remain with Air India and Air India Express at the time of closing of the disinvestment.nnThe remaining debt would be allocated to AIAHL.nnEY is the transaction adviser for Air India disinvestment process.nnIn 2018, the government proposed to offload 76 per cent equity share capital of the national carrier as well as transfer the management control to private players. However, there were no bidders.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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