Govt to sell 76% stake in Air India, invites expression of interest

Govt to sell 76% stake in Air India, invites expression of interest

The government plans to sell 76% stake in Air India Ltd, according to the preliminary information memorandum released Wednesday on strategic disinvestment of the national carrier.

A Kolkata-bound Air India flight has been grounded at the Delhi airport following reports of a bomb threat, an official said.

As reported earlier by The Telegraph, the expression of interest (EoI) states the government will sell 76 per cent in Air India and Air India Express.

On the debt restructuring, the PIM disclosed that the "existing debt and liabilities of AI and AIXL as on 31st March, 2017 are being reallocated and it is expected that debt and liabilities, including net current liabilities of Rs 88,160 million, aggregating to Rs 333,920 million will remain with AI and AIXL".

The confirmed selected bidder has to continue using the "Air India" brand for AI business operations for a minimum specified number of years on terms to be detailed at a later stage.

According to the memorandum, private entities should have a net worth of Rs 5,000 crore to be eligible to send in their bids for the proposed transaction.

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Another hoax threat incident was reported in August previous year, after a Delhi-bound AI flight from Jodhpur was delayed upto three hours after the authorities were alarmed by a miscreant called for a bomb being planted in the aircraft. Air India employees have also been permitted to participate as bidders either directly or by formation of an "employee consortium" subject to relevant conditions.

The Narendra Modi government has appointed London based multinational professional service provider Ernst & Young as the only transaction advisor.

The government plans to offload 76% equity share capital of the national carrier as well as transfer the management control.

The complete information related to the process has been communicated to the prospective bidders.

In addition, Air India Air Transport Services, Air India Engineering Services and Alliance Air will each form separate entities. "This includes strategic privatisation of Air India".