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Air India qualified bidder list likely in FY20: DIPAM Secy
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is likely to finalise the list of qualified bidders for Air India in the current fiscal and is confident of participation of overseas and Indian companies in consortiums in the bidding process, DIPAM secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said.
“We are hopeful of bids from both domestic and overseas players. During our roadshows, we saw interest from many investors in Air India, which included other airlines. They may bid in consortium. That’s why the consortium conditions have been made flexible and mergers allowed, which means we have given them the option of restructuring the airline,” Pandey said.
Pandey said that the government is very hopeful of Air India’s successful sale due to its inherent strengths.
“The airline can be managed very well in private hands. It is a big asset and has a lot of potential. It has got travel slots, bilaterals... India is a very fast-growing civil aviation market. Air India has very competent people -- technical staff, pilots, crew etc. The cost of manpower is just 11 per cent of the total revenue,” the officer said, adding that this figure is 20 per cent for many global airlines.
He said that Air India’s disinvestment process had been set in motion and carried to its logical conclusion from the beginning of the next fiscal.
“But I won’t hazard a guess as to when it will be completed, as it depends on due diligence by investors. Once the qualified bidders list is out, they would have to undertake due diligence, then the finalisation of SPA (Share-Purchase Agreement) and financial bidding. That may take place sometime from April onwards. We have indicated in the EoI that by March 31, we will be intimating the qualified bidders,” the Secretary added.