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NEW DELHI: The Tata Group won the financial bid for acquiring debt-laden national carrier Air India on Friday.
The decision marks the start of the Centre’s privatisation programme after a hiatus of nearly two decades.
Secretary of the department of investment and public asset management (Dipam) Tuhin Kanta Pandey and civil aviation secretary briefed the media on the amount of financial bids received, details of the sale process, status of exisiting employees among other details.
Here are some of the key FAQs on the sale:
What was the winning bid?
The government had set a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore for the airline.
The Tata Group had quoted a winning bid of Rs 18,000 crore for acquiring Air India, higher than the reserve price. Of this, Rs 15,300 crore is debt and the rest Rs 2,700 crore will be in cash.
While, the consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh had quoted a financial bid amount of Rs 15,100 crore.
When will hand over happen?
The government aims to handover the erstwhile airline to the winner, that is, the Tata Group by December 2021.
What was the total debt of Air India?
As of August 31, the airline’s total debt was Rs61,562 crore.
Who cleared the winning bid?
A group of ministers comprising home minister Amit Shah, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce minister Piyush Goyal and civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia cleared the winning bid for Air India on October 4.
What will happen to existing employees?
Winning bidder will retain all employees. If any employee needs to be retrenched they will be given the option of voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), after the completion of first year of the bidder taking over the airline.
What will happen to Air India Maharaja and other logos?
In total Air India has 8 logos and all of them will be transferred to Tatas.
For 5 years, these logos can’t be transferred. After completion of 5 years, the logo can be transferred to only Indian persons and not to any foreign entity.
When did process of privatisation begin?
The process for disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries commenced in June 2017 with the ‘in-principle’ approval of CCEA. The first round did not elicit any Expression of Interest.
How many financial bids were received?
The government has received 7 expression of interests (EoIs) by December 2020. However, 5 of the bidders had to be disqualified as they could not meet the requirements set out in the EOI, even after allowing them an opportunity for clarification.
What will be the next step?
The next step will be to issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) and then sign the share purchase agreement (SPA) following which, the conditions precedent would need to be satisfied by the successful bidder, the company and government.



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