Tata Group will file an Expression of Interest (EoI) to acquire national carrier Air India today, news agency ANI reported. Sources told ANI that Tata Group will use Air Asia as a vehicle where Tata Sons has a significant majority stake.
The deadline for submission of bids for Air India ends on Monday. Reports suggest that leading corporate houses Adani and Hinduja may also be interested.
The government has been trying for two years to divest its Air India. It wants to divest 100 per cent stake in Air India and budget carrier AI Express, and sell its 50 per cent share in Air India SATS Airport Services, a joint venture with Singapore-based ground handling firm SATS.
The government has further sweetened the deal and now it will be sold on its enterprise value.
A group of 209 employees of Air India are also making preparations to bid for the national carrier in partnership with a private financier. As reported earlier, Air India employees are preparing to bid for the national carrier in partnership with a private equity fund and each employee will be asked to contribute Rs 1 lakh towards the bid. The bid process is being led by Meenakshi Mallik, Commercial Director, Air India.
However, the unions representing pilots and cabin crew have advised their members not to participate in the employee bid.
Meanwhile, the government has extended the intimation date for bidders for Air India to January 5, from the earlier date of December 29. This is the date for announcing the shortlisted bidders. The physical bids need to be in by December 29.