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It’s official: Tata Sons wins Air India bid for Rs 18,000 crore

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New Delhi, Oct 08: Tata Sons has won the final bid for acquiring national carrier Air India, the government officially announced on Friday. With this, Air India comes back to its founder after 68 years.

    TATA Sons wins bid for Air India, Ratan Tata tweets: Welcome back | Oneindia News
    Representational Image

    "TATA presented a winning bid of Rs 18,000 crores," DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said, adding that a letter of intent will be sent to the successful bidder soon. "The transaction is expected to close by end of December 2021," he said.

    The bid by the consortium led by Ajay Singh was Rs15,100 crore, Pandey said.

    Non-core assets including land and buildings with book value of Rs 14,718 crore will not be given to the acquirer but will be transferred to GoI's @airindiain Assets Holding Limited (AIAHL).

    The Tata Group founded Air India as Tata Airlines in October 1932. The government nationalised the airline in 1953.

    The stake sale process, which begun in January 2020, faced delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In April 2021, the government asked potential bidders to put in financial bids. The last day for placing financial bids was September 15.

    Tata Group was among the multiple entities that had put in an initial expression of interest (EoI) in December 2020 for buying the Maharaja.

    As per the Air India EoI floated by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) in January 2020, of the airline's total debt of Rs 60,074 crore as of March 31, 2019, the buyer would be required to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore. The rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle.

    Air India has been in losses ever since its merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007.

    The airline, which was formed by the Tatas as a mail carrier in 1932, will give the successful bidder control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, as well as 900 slots at airports overseas.

    Besides, the bidder would get 100 per cent of the low-cost arm Air India Express and 50 per cent of AISATS, which provides cargo and ground handling services at major Indian airports.

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