India is considering inviting expressions of interest to sell national carrier Air India by the end of next month as the government aims to complete the transaction this year. It will conduct roadshows as well as be open to meet prospective buyers even before the expressions of interest are sought a Bloomberg report quoted people with knowledge of the matter as saying.
The process will likely allow the bidders to look at the accounts of the airline except for some portions that are confidential and also see the share purchase agreement.
The potential bidders will have the option to make suggestions for changes in the sale terms during the process of expressing their interest in the deal, Bloomberg said, adding that the government is looking to sell its entire stake in the carrier.
The plan is being prepared after the government’s attempt to partially exit the carrier failed to attract any bidder last year. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget presentation for the current financial year said the government will revive plans to sell Air India and the divestment would be part of the government’s efforts to raise.
Himalayan high mountain of debts
1.05 trillion rupees (US$15.3 billion) selling stakes in state-run companies.
Air India, which is surviving on a 300-billion-rupee taxpayer-funded bailout, has failed to maintain its market dominance as a slew of carriers including InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. and SpiceJet Ltd. started to offer ultra-cheap, on-time flights more than a decade ago.
The state-run airline has total debts of US$8.4 billion and posted losses of more than 76 billion rupees last year, according to provisional estimates.
Vistara widens ist network
In another development, Vistara, the joint venture airline of Tata and Singapore Airlines has announced the launch of its international operations from next month with flight services to Singapore from New Delhi and Mumbai.
The services to Singapore, Vistara's first international destination, will be operated with a B737-800NG and Vistara's chief executive officer Leslie Thng said that after the launch of the services to Singapore, Vistara will expand its footprint to other international markets.
Nol van Fenema