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Centre invites fresh bids to sell Pawan Hans; Details inside

The Centre on Thursday invited fresh bids for offloading its stake in Pawan Hans Ltd (PHL). Previously also the government attempted to sell the country's biggest public sector helicopter operator. In PHL, the government holds 51 per cent stake. 

India TV Business Desk India TV Business Desk
New Delhi Published on: July 11, 2019 15:52 IST
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Pawan Hans

The Centre on Thursday invited fresh bids for offloading its stake in Pawan Hans Ltd (PHL). Previously also the government attempted to sell the country's biggest public sector helicopter operator.

In PHL, the government holds 51 per cent stake. The rest is held by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Mumbai, in what now ranks as South Asia's largest helicopter company.

After the government announced its intention to sell PHL, the company's performance has nosedived sharply.

During fiscal 2018-2019, the 33-year-old firm recorded its first-ever loss at over Rs 75 crore.

A senior aviation official said that such multiple attempts to sell the company has actually proved detrimental to its image.

"The government has already merged certain public sector entities with excellent results. It must consider the option of merging PHL with the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which will be mutually beneficial to both. Such a measure could create a truly world-class and profitable company," the official, requesting anonymity, told news agency IANS.

In April 2018, the government had first announced the proposed strategic sale in PHL and sought Expression of Interest (EoI) from prospective bidders.

Accordingly, a total of combined 100 per cent stake in the PHL is now available to the bidders. The last date for submitting bids is August 22.

However, in case state-run ONGC is unable to sell its 49 per cent stake for any reason, the government's stake sale would remain unaffected and the successful bidder would have to execute a shareholders' agreement with ONGC, reported the news agency.

PHL was launched in October 1985. It is a 'Mini-Ratna 1' category company. It has around 42 helicopters providing varied services.

Services include offshore operations, tourism, inter-island transportation, remote or inaccessible areas, rescue works, corporate and VVIP charters, and other special services.

 

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