The Maharashtra government's offer is about Rs 200 crore less than the reserve price that Air India had set. However, the Air India has reportedly decided to go ahead with the sale process.
Air India Mumbai building sale: The Maharashtra state secretariat may soon have a new address in Mumbai’s upscale Nariman Point as the state government has offered Rs 1400 crore to take over Air India’s iconic 23-storey building situated on the Marine Drive. This is probably for the first time that a state will be buying back a property it had previously given on lease.
According to a report in the Indian Express, the Maharashtra government’s offer is about Rs 200 crore less than the reserve price that Air India had set, however, it has decided to go ahead with its plan to sell the property.
The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) had offered Rs 1,200 crore and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Rs 1375 crore for the iconic building which was the national carrier’s headquarters till 2013 when it was vacated as per a plan to monetise its assets inorder to address the 50,000 crore debt.
The government had earlier decided to sell off land and real estate properties of Air India to raise at least Rs 9000 crore in an attempt to mop-up its hug debt. Apart from the the Mumbai building, Air India’s property in Delhi’s Vasant Vihar and a plot situated at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, next to Connaught Place were also decided to be sold.
The building spread over 220,000 sq. ft has several vacant floors overlooking the Arabian Sea which have been rented out to the directorate general of shipping, State Bank of India, and Tata Consultancy Services. In 1970 , the Maharashtra government had leased property to Air India for a tenure of 99 years.
Even after acquisition, Air India will be allowed to display its logo on top of the highrise, Maharashtra Chief Secretary UPS Madan told the Indian Express.
There has been no word from Air India Managing Director Ashish Lohani over the building sale talks so far.