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Tata Sons, Ajay Singh table bids for Air India

The government said it has received multiple financial bids for the national carrier
Representational image.
Representational image.

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 16.09.21, 02:15 AM

The Tatas and SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh have submitted financial bids to buy troubled national carrier Air India. The last date for submitting the bids was Wednesday.

“Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by transaction adviser. Process now moves to the concluding stage,” selloff secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey tweeted.

The government said it has received multiple financial bids for the national carrier. 

While a Tata Sons spokesperson confirmed its bid to The Telegraph, sources in SpiceJet said the budget carrier’s promoter has bid in his personal capacity.

Eligible bidders under the current terms of sale will quote an enterprise value (EV) based on their estimate of the combined value of AI’s equity and debt.

The winning bidder will be decided on the basis of who quotes the highest EV value, with 15 per cent of the sum to be paid in cash and the rest taken as debt.

Finance ministry officials had said the reserve price would be decided after the “financial bids were received and not opened.” They said this would provide a fair chance to the bidders.

The government had earlier appointed RBSA Advisors to set the reserve price for Air India. However, the final reserve price will be determined by a group of ministers after all the financial bids arrive, the officials said.

The government is keen to hand over the airline to the highest bidder by December.

The state is also likely to offer indemnity to the successful bidder from lawsuits filed by foreign companies against Air India to recover their arbitration awards they have won against the Indian government. Air India is contesting these claims.

Cairn, AI drop case

Cairn Energy and Air India have now jointly asked a New York federal court to stay further proceedings in the British firm’s US lawsuit targeting the airline for the enforcement of a $ 1.2-billion arbitral award. 

The move follows the government enacting a law to scrap retrospective taxation , which in effect will result in  the withdrawal of the Rs 10,247 crore tax demand on Cairn, according to court documents reviewed by PTI. 

The government is selling 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India's 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

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