Air India likely to be handed over to Tata Group on Thursday
Air India disinvestment: While this will be the first privatisation since 2003-04, Air India will be the third airline brand in the Tatas' stable. The Tata Group will pay ₹18,000 crore for a 100 per cent stake in the carrier.
The central government is expected to hand over Air India to the Tata Group on Thursday, as reported by Hindustan Times earlier this week. Though the official date has not been confirmed, but the Centre is looking to complete the disinvestment process on January 27.
"The disinvestment of Air India is now decided to be on the 27 January 2022. The closing balance sheet as on 20th Jan has to be provided today 24th Jan (Monday) so that it can be reviewed by Tatas and any changes can be effected on Wednesday," news agency ANI had reported on Monday, quoting from the email Vinod Hejmadi, Director Finance, Air India, sent to employees.
Hejmadi hailed the “excellent work” one by the employees till now and expected cooperation in the final days before the handover.
The national carrier, which began its journey under the Tatas 90 years ago before the government nationalised the sector in 1953, was sold to the autos-to-steel Tata conglomerate, which will pay ₹18,000 crore for a 100 per cent stake. The sale was announced in October by the Union government.
Talace Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, will get 100% equity shares of AI and AI Express, along with the government’s 50% stake in ground-handling company Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS).
Tatas had on October 8 beat the ₹15,100-crore offer by a consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh and the reserve price of ₹12,906 crore set by the government for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in the loss-making carrier.
The bid amount includes Tata’s taking on of about ₹15,300 crore of the national flag carrier’s ₹61,562 crore debt. The remaining will be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Limited (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle formed by the government.
While this will be the first privatisation since 2003-04, Air India will be the third airline brand in the Tatas' stable - it holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.