Government announces to sell 100 per cent stake in Air India

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The government on Monday said it plans to sell its entire stake in Air India in a revised push to sell its national carrier after an initial attempt to sell a majority stake in the airline failed to draw a single bid in 2018.

A document inviting expressions of interest released on Monday said Government of India (GOI) has given ‘in-principle’ approval for Strategic disinvestment of Air India (AI) by way of the transfer of management control and sale of 100% equity share capital of AI held by GOI which will include AI’s shareholding interest of 100% in Air India Express Limited (AIXL) and 50% in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS).

The deadline for submitting the Expression of Interest is March 17. The document said any bidder would have to agree to assume roughly $3.26 billion in debt, along with other liabilities.

The government of India said that substantial ownership and effective control of Air India would have to remain vested with an Indian entity following the sale, limiting the scope of any foreign bidders interested in the asset.