India: Finance ministry gets bids for takeover of debt-laden state carrier Air India

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

The Indian finance ministry said on Wednesday that the debt-laden state-run airline Air India has received financial bids for its privatisation process.

“Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser,” Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, said in a tweet.

“Process now moves to concluding stage,” he said.

The government will soon announce the floor price for the sale of Air India, a senior government source, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

India‘s Tata Sons said it had submitted a bid for Air India, while local media reported that SpiceJet also submitted a bid.

SpiceJet and Air India did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has renewed a push to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, which has been kept aloft by a bailout since 2012.

The government loses nearly 200 million rupees every day to run the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of over 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials said.

An effort to auction a majority stake almost three years ago drew no bids, forcing the government to ease terms. It has also extended the deadline multiple times due to COVID-19 and further eased the terms to attract bidders.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.