Air India sale: Govt extends deadline to bid for cash-strapped national carrier till 30 April

The government on Friday extended the deadline for submitting bids for buying 100 percent stake in Air India till 30 April

Press Trust of India March 13, 2020 12:22:31 IST
Air India sale: Govt extends deadline to bid for cash-strapped national carrier till 30 April

New Delhi: The government on Friday extended the deadline for submitting bids for buying 100 percent stake in Air India till 30 April.

The deadline was originally set at 17 March.

The government had allowed access to the “virtual data room” of Air India to interested bidders late in February and allowed them further time till 6 March to pose queries.

Home Minister Amit Shah-led ministerial panel on Air India decided on extending the deadline for submission of expression of interest (EoI) by interested bidders till 30 April.

While extending the date, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) in a notification said “the changes are in view of the requests received from the IBs (interested bidders) and the prevailing situation arising out of COVID-19.”

In January, the government restarted the divestment process of Air India and invited bids for selling 100 percent of its equity in the state-owned airline, including Air India's 100 percent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 percent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

The government had on 27 January issued the preliminary information memorandum (PIM) inviting EoI for sale of 100 percent stake in Air India.

On 21 February, it issued the first set of clarification answering queries regarding the 'confidentiality undertaking'.

Interested bidders for Air India should have a net worth of Rs 3,500 crore.

After its unsuccessful bid to sell Air India in 2018, the government this time has decided to offload its entire stake. In 2018, the government had offered to sell its 76 percent stake in the airline.

Of the total debt of Rs 60,074 crore as of 31 March, 2019, the buyer would be required to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore, while the rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), the special purpose vehicle.

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