Air India privatisation HIGHLIGHTS: Tata wins bid to buy Air India for Rs 18,000 crore

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Updated: October 8, 2021 10:55:02 pm

Air India Sale: Air India will head back to the Tata Sons after a 68-year gap with the central government approving the bid placed by the group. Tata Group has out bid a consortium led by SpiceJet's Ajay Singh.

Air India, Tata GroupAir India was on the divestment runway for years. (Image: REUTERS)

Air India Divestment HIGHLIGHTS: Air India Divestment LIVE: Air India will head back to the Tata Group after decades flying as the national carrier, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Secretary, Tuhin Kanta Pandey announced today. Tata Sons will pay Rs 18,000 crore for the Maharaja, outbidding a consortium led by SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh who had bid Rs 15,100 crore. The transaction is expected to be close by end of December this year. The central government had started evaluating the bids for the debt-laden national carrier earlier last week. Reports suggest the Tata Group is the front-runner to win the Maharaja, while SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh is the other bidder competing for the airline. The evaluation of bids was done against an undisclosed reserve price.

The governments, over the years, have tried selling the money guzzling airline but to no avail. The debt-laden carrier has 127 aircraft, controlling 50.64% of the International market share when clubbed with AIXL, among Indian carriers. Air India currently serves 42 international destinations. The government is selling its entire stake in Air India. Tata Group already owns about 84% stake in AirAsia India and 51% in Vistara.

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Highlights

    17:16 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    What next?

    The next step will be to issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) and then sign the Share Purchase Agreement following which, the conditions precedent would need to be satisfied by the successful bidder, the company and Government. It is expected that the transaction will be completed by December 2021.

    17:12 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Tata Sons to hold at least 51% stake till one year

    Tata Sons will have to maintain at least 51% equity stake in Air India for a period of one year, DIPAM Secretary said. Only after the completion of one year, Tatas can sell any stake in the airline. 

    17:04 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    What Tatas get as part of deal

    Post-acquisition, the Tatas will own 100% stake in Air India as also 100% in its subsidiary Air India Express (a low cost carrier airline that focusses on short-haul international operations especially in the Middle East market) and 50% in the joint venture Air India SATS (airportservices on ground and cargo handling). The total permanent and contractual employee strength of Air India & AIXL is 13,500.

    17:02 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Tatas get their hands on massive fleet

    The Tatas will get ownership of Brands like Air India, Indian Airlines, and the Maharajah. Air India has a fleet of 117 wide-body and narrow body aircrafts and AIXL has a fleet of 24 narrow body aircrafts. 

    17:02 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Privilege for our Group to own Air India: N. Chandrasekaran

    “At the Tata group, we are delighted to be declared as the winner of the bid for AIR INDIA. This is a historic moment, and it will be a rare privilege for our Group to own and operate the country’s flag bearer airline. It will be our endeavour to build a world-class airline which makes every Indian proud. On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to J.R.D. Tata, pioneer of Indian aviation, whose memory we cherish," said N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons.

    16:59 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    'JRD Tata would have been overjoyed'

    On an emotional note, Air India, under the leadership of Mr JRD Tata had, at one time, gained the reputation of being one of the most prestigious Airlines in the world. Tatas will have the opportunity of regaining the image and reputation enjoyed in earlier years. MR JRD Tata would have been overjoyed if he was in our midst today

    ~ Ratan Tata

    16:48 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Ratan Tata welcomes Air India back

    Ratan Tata has tweeted, welcoming Air India to the Tata Group. He added that it will take 'considerable effort to rebuild Air India'. 

    16:44 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    No employees to be removed for one year

    Tata Sons will have to retain all current employees of Air India for a one year period, the government said. From the second year, Air India employees will have to be offered a VRS. Further, gratuity benefits and PF benefits will be applicable. 

    16:41 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Air India loses Rs 20 crore per day

    The government said that Air India currently loses Rs 20 crore per day. The maharaja has been reeling under a massive debt that stands close to Rs 70,000 crore. 

    16:40 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Reserve price was set at Rs 12,906 cr

    The reserve price set by the government for Air India was Rs 12,906 crore, DIPAM Secretary said. Both the bids were above the reserve price. 

    16:37 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Air India Assets Holding Limited to take over Rs 46,262 crore debt

    AIAHL will take over the debt of Rs 46,262 crore from Air India, along with assets worth Rs 14,718 crore, DIPAM secretary said. 

    16:35 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Govt kitty gets Rs 2,700 crore

    The government of India will get Rs 2,700 crore in cash from the deal will the remaining Rs 15,300 will be debt taken over by the Tata Sons. 

    16:32 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Heavy burden on tax payers

    Taxpayers have put in Rs 1,10,276 crore in Air India since 2009-10, DIPAM Secretary said. 

    16:30 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Tata Sons to takeover 15,000 crore debt

    Tata Sons will take over Rs 15,000 crore of the total debt currently on Air India's books, DIPAM secretary said. Post this Air India will have Rs 46,262 crore of debt, which will be taken over by AIAHL. 

    16:28 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Complete handover

    The complete handover of Air India to the Tata Sons will be around December 2021. DIPAM Secretary said that by December this year, the government will get the consideration and shares will be transferred to Tata Sons.

    16:16 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Debt position post take over

    DIPAM secretary said that a total debt of Rs 46,262 crore will remain after the bidder take over, which will go to AIAHL.

    16:15 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Combined debt

    As of March 2021, Air India has a total debt of Rs 46,231 crore, DIPAM Secretary said. Total debt at the end of August this year was Rs 65,562 crore, he added.

    16:12 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Tata Sons wins Air India bid

    Tata Sons have will buy Air India for Rs 18,000 crore from the government, beating SpiceJet's Ajay Sing who bid Rs 15,100 crore. 

    16:03 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Air India winner to be announced shortly

    DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey has started his presentation, detailing the process of divesting the national carrier. 

    15:51 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Massive opportunity for bidders?

    The successful bidder will get control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, as well as 900 slots at airports overseas.

    15:42 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Started with Rs 2 lakh investment

    JRD Tata started Air India, then known as Tata Airlines, with an initial investment of Rs 2 lakh crore. The first planes purchased by the company were two second-hand de Havilland Puss Moths. According to an Indian Express report, in the autumn of 1932, in the inaugural flight, Tata himself piloted a single-engine plane carrying 25 kilograms of mail from Karachi to Bombay. 

    15:36 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Set up by India's first licensed pilot

    Air India was set up as Tata Airlines by JRD Tata in 1932. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was the first licensed pilot in India 

    15:25 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Deep in losses

    Air India has been in losses ever since its merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007.

    15:18 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Air India fleet

    According to the Air India website, the Maharaja owns 26 wide-body aircraft and has leased 23. The flag carrier has a total of 128 narrow-body aircraft of which it owns 70. 

    15:14 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Air India has Rs 60,074 crore debt

    As per the Air India Expression of Interest floated by the DIPAM in January last year, Air India has a total debt of Rs 60,074 crore as of March 31, 2019. The buyer would be required to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore. The rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle.

    15:03 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Air India sale to affect other?

    Earlier this week, Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates told Moneycontrol that the sale of Air India will affect their operations. However, he has appreciated the competition. Emirates does not have domestic operations in India. 

    14:56 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Tatas frontrunners for Air India sale

    Tata Group is the front runner for the divestment of Air India, according to former Air India Director Jitender Bhargava. In an interview to Bloomberg TV last week, Jitender Bhargava said that Tata Group is likely to get the government's nod considering the group is capable of pouring large sums of money into the national carrier. 

    14:43 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Flying back home?

    If sold to Tata Sons, Air India would come back to the salt to software conglomerate after a 68-year gap. Air India was started by the Tatas in 1932 as the Tata Airlines. The same was sold to the government in 1953 by the group.

    14:36 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    DIPAM press conference today

    Ministry of Finance's Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) will hold a press conference later today and likely announce the winner of the Air India bid.

    14:35 (IST)08 Oct 2021
    Air India may find a new home today

    National carrier Air India could finally find a new home today after years of waiting. The debt-laden airline could head back to the Tata Group or make its way to Ajay Singh of SpiceJet.

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