Government invites bid for sale of 100% stake in Air India, 50% in AISATS

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

In a fresh move towards the disinvestment of Air India, the government on Monday issued the preliminary information memorandum for 100 per cent stake sale in the national carrier Air India.

According to the bid document, Air India would also sell 100 per cent stake in low-cost airline Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in joint venture AISATS, as part of the strategic disinvestment. Management control of the airline would also be transferred to the successful bidder.

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

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, the document said.

According to the document, a 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.

EY is the transaction advisor for Air India disinvestment process.

Also Read | Explained: Air India disinvestment — what govt has on offer

The national carrier, which has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore, has been making loss for long and as part of revival efforts, the government has decided on disinvestment.

However, the government had said that it is committed to disinvestment of Air India but wants the national carrier to remain in Indian hands.

(With PTI inputs)