Debt-laden national carrier Air India is expected to be handed over to the Tata group by 27 January. The remaining formalities regarding the deal are likely to be completed in the next few days.
In an email to employees, Vinod Hejmadi, Director Finance, Air India said that the closing balance sheet will be provided today so that it can be reviewed by Tata and any changes can be made on Wednesday.
After a competitive bidding process, the Centre had on 8 October last year sold Air India to Talace Private Limited – a subsidiary of the Tata group’s holding company – for ₹18,000 crore.
Following that, on October 11, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was issued to the Tata group confirming the government’s willingness to sell its 100 percent stake in the airline. On October 25, the Centre signed the share purchase agreement (SPA) for this deal.
As a part of the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 percent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS.
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 percent stake in the loss-making carrier.
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.
Few days back, Vikram Dev Dutt took charge as the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Air India.
In an official release, Air India said Dutt took over the charge of the airline on Friday from Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal, who was at the helm of Air India till now.
Dutt is a 1993-batch IAS officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre.
Air India said Dutt has been appointed the airline’s CMD in the rank and pay of additional secretary.