Air India sale: Winner finalised; govt decides minimum reserve price& |  Photo Credit: PTI
- Air India sale process in last legs as government decides on minimum reserve price, winning bid
- Tata Group and SpiceJet founder Ajay Singh have bid for the national flag carrier
- Air India sale includes 100% stake in Air India, Air India Express and 50% in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd.
The government has picked the winner from Tata Group and SpiceJet founder Ajay Singh —the two bidders for the sale of Air India and even decided on a reserve price against which the offers were judged.
The government may announce the winning bid, reported Economic Times citing sources. However, it isn’t clear when will the winner be announced.
Representatives of Tata Group and Ajay Singh met government officials engaged in the deal on Wednesday. Both government officials and two bidders refused to say anything publicly.
A presentation on the valuation of the national flag carrier was made on Tuesday and the committee of secretaries (CoS) took a call on reserve price of the airline but no details have been revealed.
The report said Tata Group is believed to be winning bidder as they submitted a higher bid.
The Tata Group is believe to have included indemnity clauses in its bid to protect itself from unexpected claims. More than 200 Tata officials including merger specialists from Vistara, AirAsia India, Tata Steel, and Indian Hotels are believed to be part of the process, other than Tata Sons Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) team, the report further said.
The Tata Group may have also sought a sovereign guarantee against any pre-acquisition claim that Air India faces as indemnity in favour of buyer may be limited with respect to time and value.
The deal includes 100% stake in Air India, Air India Express and 50% in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd. Air India’s sale is a cornerstone of the government’s disinvestment agenda and is being overseen by Amit Shah-led committee.
This is the second attempt by the government to sell the airline as an earlier plan to offload 76% in the airline which failed to take off with bidders as the government wanted to retain a 26% stake in the airline.
As part of the Air India disinvestment plan, the airline will be transferred to a private owner along with its Rs 23,000 crore debt. The plan includes transferring the remaining debt to the government-owned Air India Assets Holdings Ltd (AIAHL), a new company that will house the carrier’s assets such as Air India building in Mumbai, Airlines House in Delhi, land in Delhi’s Connaught Place and various other housing societies in Delhi and other cities.