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India gets bids for sale of loss-making Air India

An Air India Airbus A320 plane is seen at the Boryspil International Airport upon arrival, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak outside Kiev, Ukraine May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU, Sept 15 – The Indian finance ministry said on Wednesday that the debt-laden state-run airline Air India has received financial bids for its privatisation process.

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“Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser,” Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, said in a tweet.

“Process now moves to concluding stage,” he said.

The government will soon announce the floor price for the sale of Air India, a senior government source, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

India’s Tata Sons said it had submitted a bid for Air India, while local media reported that SpiceJet also submitted a bid.

SpiceJet and Air India did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has renewed a push to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, which has been kept aloft by a bailout since 2012.

The government loses nearly 200 million rupees every day to run the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of over 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials said.

An effort to auction a majority stake almost three years ago drew no bids, forcing the government to ease terms. It has also extended the deadline multiple times due to COVID-19 and further eased the terms to attract bidders.

($1 = 73.4690 Indian rupees)Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru and Aftab Ahmed in New Delhi; Writing by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Bernadette Baum

REUTERS

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

https://www.reuters.com/world/india/air-india-gets-bids-disinvestment-2021-09-15/

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