Tata Group Formally Joins Race For Air India

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Tata Group filed an Expression of Interest for Air India to the Disinvestment Ministry on Monday and will now be expected to submit its financial bid within the next 15 days. This is just an expression of interest and not a financial bid and it has been submitted as the deadline ends today, Tatas told NDTV. An expression of interest indicates a buyer’s interest in acquiring a company. The deadline for filing expression of interest ends at 5 pm. It is still not known whether Tatas plan to acquire Air India with their existing partners, i.e. Air Asia or Vistara, or go solo.

The shortlisted bidder will be expected to pick up ₹ 23,286 crores of the ₹ 60,000 crore total debt of the airline. The remaining debt will be transferred by the government into a special purpose vehicle called Air India Assets Holding.

The disinvestment of Air India will be based on its enterprise value, i.e. calculation of its market capitalisation, short-term and long-term debt and any cash on its balance sheet.

Meanwhile, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has said that multiple expressions of interest have been received for strategic disinvestment of Air India and the transaction will now move to the second stage.

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