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Air India: Confusion over debts, assets complicates disinvestment Air India Privatisation

Air India: Confusion over debts, assets complicates disinvestment

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 16 Mar 2021, 09:42 pm

Mumbai/IBNS: Even as the government plans to invite financial bids for the sale of national carrier Air India, after shortlisting expressions of interest for the second phase of the deal, those in the fray are still not aware of the quantum of assets and debts that will be part of the takeover, said a media report.

"If they don't give a clean asset as well as freehand for turn around, the buyers will not risk themselves by taking over the national carrier," a Business Today report quoted an executive aware of the developments.

Another executive whose group backed out from submitting EOI said Air India would be impossible to run if the takeover included Rs 70,000- 80,000 crore accumulated debt while admitting that the national carrier with its operations in 40 international destinations, is a lucrative asset.

The Centre aims to complete the privatisation process in the second part of this calendar year.

It may take three to four months to finish the sale after the evaluation of the bids, said a CNBC TV18.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in her budget speech on February 1 that the disinvestment of Air India will be completed in 2021-22.

After the consortium of Air India employees attempted to take over the national carrier failed after their bid was disqualified for the next phase of the disinvestment process, the Tata group and SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh are now the main contenders among the bidders.

There were rumours that Adani and Hinduja groups were among the prospective bidders but there is no information on there participation so far.