The financial bids for Air India’s disinvestment are likely by September 15, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
“[The] Request for Proposal (RFP) along with draft Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) have been shared with QIBs (qualified interested bidders) by the transaction advisor on 30.03.2021 for submission of financial bids. The financial bids are likely to be received by 15.09.2021,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General (Retd) V.K. Singh, said in response to a question.
The Centre has not revealed the names of the QIBs as yet, though it maintains that it has received “multiple” expressions of interest for Air India’s privatisation.
After an unsuccessful attempt to sell Air India in 2018, the government in January last year restarted the divestment process and invited bids for selling 100% of its equity in the state-owned airline, including Air India’s 100% holding in Air India Express Ltd. and 50% in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd.
In October, the government sweetened the deal and tweaked a key bidding criteria allowing private players to quote an enterprise value (EV) for the airline instead of an equity value. Enterprise value of a company includes the equity value, debt as well as cash with the company.