New Delhi: The government plans to sell 76 per cent stake in Air India, according to the preliminary information memorandum released today on strategic disinvestment of the national carrier. The Civil Aviation Ministry has sought Expression of Interest (EoI) for the stake sale in the loss-making carrier and two of its subsidiaries.
According to the memorandum, the government plans to offload 76 per cent equity share capital of the national carrier as well as transfer the management control. Management or employees can participate directly in the bidding process or by way of forming a consortium, as per the memorandum. Ernst & Young LLP India has been appointed as transaction adviser for the strategic disinvestment process.
The information memorandum said the transaction will involve Air India, its low cost arm Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd. The latter is an equal joint venture between the national carrier and Singapore-based SATS Ltd.
In June 2017, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave in-principle nod to the strategic disinvestment of the airline, which has a debt burden of over Rs 50,000 crore. Subsequent to the decision, the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM), headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, was set up to decide on specific issues.
The national carrier is staying on taxpayers' money under the turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA government in 2012.