New Delhi: The government has invited bids by March 17 to sell the 100% stake of debt-ridden Air India. Information about qualified bidders will be given on 31 March. The government released the bidding documents on Monday.
Accordingly, the successful buyer will also be handed over the management control of Air India. 100% shares of Air India Express will also be sold.
Air India Express is a subsidiary of Air India, which operates cheap flights. There is also a plan to sell the entire 50% stake in joint venture AISATS. AISATS is a 50-50 percent joint venture between Air India and SATS Limited. It was launched with the objective of providing world class facilities at the airport.
Bidding process failed in 2018, so the government eased the conditions: According to the auction process documents, the buyer will have to take responsibility for the loan of only Rs 23,286.5 crore from Air India. The airline has a total debt of Rs 60,074 crore. In 2018, the government sought bids to sell 76% of Air India shares but did not find any buyer. Therefore the conditions have been simplified. According to the terms of 2018, the buyer had to take responsibility for the total loan of Rs 33,392 crore.
Air India Engineering Services, Air India Transport Services, Airline Allied Services and Hotel Corporation of India will be transferred to a separate company- Air India Assets Holding Limited (AIAHL). They will not be included in the sale.