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Update Air India Disinvestment : Intimation Date For Qualified Interested Bidders Moved From December 29 To Jan 5, 2021

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The government has said it will intimate qualified interested bidders (QIBs) of Air India on January 5 next year, instead of the earlier decided date of December 29, 2020. While the government has not extended the deadline for EoIs (Expressions of Interest) for the national carrier, the interested entities are required to submit the physical bids within 15 days from December 14 — the last date for submitting EoIs, reported PTI.

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on Thursday issued a tenth corrigendum to global invitation for Expression of Interest (EoI) for the proposed strategic disinvestment of Air India Ltd stating amendments to Clause 10.17 of the expression of interest.

“Consequent to above change in Clause 10.17 of the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM), date of intimation to the qualified interested bidders (QIB) should be read as 5th January, 2021,” the corrigendum said. In January this year, the government restarted the divestment process and invited bids for selling 100 per cent of its equity in the state-owned airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in Air India Express Ltd, which is the international budget arm and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

As per the Air India EoI floated by DIPAM in January, of the airline’s total debt of Rs 60,074 crore as of March 31, 2019, the buyer would be required to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore, while the rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle. Department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had said that potential investors in Air India have given feedback that due to the uncertainty created by Covid-19 in the aviation sector, the debt should not be fixed at the Expression of Interest (EoI) stage.

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