SP's Airbuz



In a major setback to the Air India disinvestm­ent process, the government said no initial bids were received for the proposed strategic stake sale of the debt-laden airlines by the deadline on May 31, 2018. The government has proposed to offload 76 per cent equity share capital of the national carrier as well as transfer the management control to private players, as per the preliminar­y informatio­n memorandum. The transactio­n would involve Air India, its low cost arm Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd. The latter is an equal joint venture between the national carrier and Singapore-based SATS Ltd. Earlier this month, the government had extended the deadline for submission of bids to May 31 from the previous date of May 14.

The qualified interested bidders were to be intimated on June 15. The government would retain 24 per cent stake in the national carrier, the winning bidder would be required to stay invested in the airline for at least three years, as per the memorandum issued on March 28. The ailing airline’s total debt stood at over 48,000 crore at the end of March 2017.In April, both IndiGo and

Jet Airways had said that they would not be participat­ing in the Air India disinvestm­ent process. IndiGo was the first to evince interest in Air India disinvestm­ent when the government had mooted the plan last year.

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