Centre Offers 100pc Stake for Sale of Air India

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The government on Monday announced the sale of a 100 percent stake in debt-laden Air India as it issued the preliminary bid document for the strategic disinvestment with the deadline for submitting an expression of interest set as March 17.

According to the bid document issued today, as part of the strategic disinvestment, Air India would also sell a 100 percent stake in low-cost airline Air India Express and 50 percent shareholding in joint venture AISATS.

Management control of the airline would also be transferred to the successful bidder.

However, this is the second time in less than two years that the government has come out with a proposal for selling a stake in Air India, which has been in the red for long.

The government has set March 17 as the deadline for submitting the expression of interest (EoI).

AISATS is an equal joint venture between Air India and Singapore Airlines. It offers ground handling services.

Air India also has interests in Air India Engineering Services, Air India Air Transport Services, Airline Allied Services and Hotel Corporation of India.

The document said that these entities are in the process of being transferred to a separate company — Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL) — and would not be a part of the proposed transaction.

According to the document, the debt of Rs 23,286.5 crore would remain with Air India and Air India Express at the time of closing of the disinvestment.

The remaining debt would be allocated to AIAHL.

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