Tata Sons and SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh on Wednesday submitted their financial bids for national carrier Air India (AI). "Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser. Process now moves to concluding stage," Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said earlier in the day.
According to reports, AI is expected to get privatized by December, if bids are satisfactory, TV news channel ET Now reported. Tata Group has been keen on the AI divestment process for quite some time now. In 2018, the national carrier failed to find bidders when a 76 per cent stake was on offer. The government has since then decided to go for a complete stake sale.
Air India’s current debt stood at about Rs 43,000 crore, and of that, Rs 22,000 crore would be transferred to the Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL). Subsidiaries Air India Engineering Services and Air India Air Transport Services will also be part of AIAHL. The government might choose to monetise these assets to pay off AI’s debt before it is passed on to its new owners. The government might also have to absorb at least Rs 20,000 crore more of debt due to fund losses.
Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had earlier said that the government would stick to the September 15 deadline for the process.