Government Receives No Bids For Air India Stake Sale
India received no response from investors for debt-laden Air India Ltd. in a setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most high-profile privatisation plan.
“As informed by the Transaction Adviser, no response has been received for the Expression of Interest floated for the strategic disinvestment of Air India,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted. “Further course of action will be decided appropriately.”
The government had proposed to sell 76 percent in the airline, along with 100 percent in its low-cost arm Air India Express and 50 percent in the ground handling unit. A potential buyer was required to take on more than half of the Rs 54,000 crore debt.
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd.-run IndiGo, the first to show interest in Air India, later said it could not buy the national carrier under the plan worked out by the government. Jet Airways too decided against participating in the bidding process.
Watch this conversation with aviation expert Amrit Pandurangi and founder of IndiaSpend and Boom, Govind Ethiraj, on what the government can do to attract bidders for Air India.