Government May Extend Deadline To Bid For Air India
An Airbus aircraft operated by Air India Ltd. taxies at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, India. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Government May Extend Deadline To Bid For Air India

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The government is likely to extend the March 17 deadline for submitting bids to buy its 100 percent stake in Air India, officials said, adding that a home minister-led inter-ministerial will later this week decide on the new date.

The bidding deadline was earlier extended to Mar. 6 from Feb. 11 and then to Mar. 17.

Interested bidders can now access the "virtual data room" of Air India, which would also have the draft share purchase agreement, by paying a non-refundable fees of Rs 1 crore, officials said. More queries on the Air India sale are expected to come in, they said, which would then be clarified by the transaction adviser and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The ministerial panel—Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism—is headed by Home Minister Amit Shah and comprises Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri as other members.

The government had on Jan. 27 issued Preliminary Information Memorandum inviting expressions of interest for sale of 100 percent stake in Air India. On Feb. 21, it issued the first set of clarification answering queries regarding the "confidentiality undertaking".

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, which is overseeing the Air India sale, clarified that bidders will have the flexibility to change the structure of the consortium from the time of signing the non-disclosure pact for access to data room till submission of the expression of interest. A bidder and its affiliate are not allowed to put in bids separately and can only submit an expression of interest as a consortium.

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