The Centre will complete the sale of helicopter firm Pawan Hans to Star9 Mobility in June, a senior official said, denying allegations that the consortium did not meet the minimum net worth criteria of Rs 300 crore specified for the bidders.
Star9 Mobility is a consortium of Big Charter Private Limited, Maharaja Aviation Private Limited and Almas Global Opportunity Fund SPC, a senior official said on Friday.
Star9 Mobility has put the highest bid of Rs 211 crore for the government’s 51% stake in the loss-making helicopter firm, outbidding Rs 181 crore quoted by a consortium of Sky One Airways and Sky One FZE, and Rs 153 crore by Enormous Nivesh Private Ltd. On April 29, the empowered ministerial panel had approved the winning bid by Star9.
Responding to allegation that Star9 Mobility did not have the required net worth whereas the sale terms required Rs 300 crore, the official said as per the preliminary information memorandum (PIM), a consortium SPV draws its net worth from the combined net worth of the members of the group, which was about `691 crore for Star9 Mobility.
On the allegation that the SPV did not meet the criteria for declaring annual financial statements not older than a year from the date of publication of PIM, the official said the consortium members had disclosed their financial statement for the period and thereafter as well. The consortium had participated in the expression of interest and the SPV is the consummation of the consortium to take forward the transaction as per the PIM terms.
State-run oil explorer ONGC holds the balance 49% in the helicopter firm. ONGC has earlier decided to offer its entire shareholding to the successful bidder identified in the government strategic disinvestment transaction, on the same price and terms.
“The letter of award will be issued next week, after which the buyer will have to get regulatory clearance. The handover process is expected to be completed within a one-and-a-half months,” the official said. The official further said that after the issuance of the letter of award by the government to Star9 Mobility, ONGC will have 7 days time to offer its stake to Star9 Mobility, which will also have seven days to respond to the offer.
The Cabinet had approved the strategic disinvestment of the Centre’s entire stake in Pawan Hans in October, 2016. The transaction had been attempted thrice in the past without success.