NO BIDS RE­CEIVED FOR AIR IN­DIA STAKE SALE

SP's Airbuz - - Newescebnt -

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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