Among the bidders for the beleaguered inevitable only national carrier of India, Air India, Tatas are now firmly in the saddle.
The salt-to-software conglomerate, evergreen TATA, has quoted a higher price than SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh for Air India in their preliminary bidding round, according to people aware of the development.
Last week, SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh, who is bidding for the national carrier of India that is Air India in his personal capacity, has sought a relaxation of bidding rules, according to Times of India.
Privatisation process begins soon
The transaction to privatise Air India has moved to the financial bids stage and eligible bidders were given access to the Virtual Data Room (VDR) of Air India after analysing the preliminary bids. But Singh is prohibited from the VDR as he is an executive with Spicejet, TOI said quoting sources.
- Tatas margin very easily ahead because of its experience in managing aviation business, size of airline fleet managed and countries operated in, goodwill among other reasons as far as we know.
- Tata already operates two airlines– full-service carrier Vistara, which is in partnership with Singapore Airlines, and budget airline AirAsia India along with Malaysia’s AirAsia Group.
As the per sources, Air India’s disinvestment process may be delayed further. The stake sale process for the ailing Maharaja is being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides COVID, the process could be delayed due to like physical inspection of assets by potential bidders, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary of the department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM), the nodal agency involved in the divestment process of the national carrier.
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Stay tuned for future updates.