The sale of Air India to the Tatas has given a fillip to the government’s privatisation push. (AP)
The agreement with the government stipulates the Jan 23 deadline as the “long stop date”.
- Last Updated:November 08, 2021, 09:56 IST
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Sixty-eight years after the ‘Maharaja’ was nationalized, the countdown for Air India founder Tata Group’s re-acquiring it has begun. As per the share purchase agreement signed with the government last month, the company has to take control and start running Air India, AI Express and AI-SATS (in which 50% stake is with the new owners) latest by January 23 next year which is the “long stop date”.
Comments from the Tatas were sought on preparations for this transfer of ownership and awaited till the time of filing the report, however, so far they have not spelt out their plans for Air India. As of now, there is no information on the scale of operations of the airline whether it will be a mega airline or a low-cost and a full-service carrier, the management structure, and fleet and cabin upgrade plans.
People concerned with the deal told TOI that the long stop date of January 23, 2022, is the outer limit by when Tata’s wholly-owned subsidiary has to take over AI as this was agreed upon by both parties.
“If there is a delay in fulfilling conditions precedent (CP) requirements or disagreement on the closing balance sheet, the long stop date can be extended with mutual consent of both the parties. But that is an option unlikely to be exercised as January 23 was the date agreed upon by both,” they added.
However, the top government officials don’t see AI takeover being delayed and they are trying to ensure the transfer of control takes place by the end of 2021.
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