Sunday, June 26, 2022

Interest of Air India employees will be safeguarded post disinvestment: Puri

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  • While responding to a question on the enterprise value of Air India, Puri said that the base enterprise value set for bidding has not been determined so far

  • Under the new bidding structure, interested bidders need to bid Enterprise Value (EV) of Air India

New Delhi: The interest of employees of Air India will be safeguarded in the share purchase agreement signed with the new owner post disinvestment, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said. “The interest of the employees of Air India will be safeguarded in accordance with the guidance of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, Ministry of Finance and same will be reflected in the Share Purchase Agreement to be signed with new owner post disinvestment,” the minister said while responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

The Government initiated the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India on January 27, 2020 when it floated a preliminary information memorandum (PIM) for inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) for sale of 100 percent equity share capital of Air India Limited (AIL) including AIL’s 100 percent shareholding in the Air India Express Limited (AIXL) and 50 percent shareholding in Air India Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS).

Air India disinvestment: Base enterprise value has not been determined so far

While responding to a question on the enterprise value of Air India, Puri said that the base enterprise value set for bidding has not been determined so far. Under the new bidding structure, interested bidders need to bid Enterprise Value (EV) of Air India, wherein EV will be aggregation of debt and equity of Air India as assessed by the bidder in its financial bid. On the date of closing, debt which is lower of either the outstanding debt of AI and AIXL combined or 85 percent (or lower) of the EV, will remain as debt.

ALSO READ: Disinvestment: Tata, Air India employees among ‘multiple bidders’ who have submitted EoI

Air India employees’ group among those who have put in bids

A group of 209 employees of Air India headed by Air India’s current Director (Commercial) Meenakshi Mallik have submitted an EoI for acquiring the Centre’s stake in the national carrier. Besides, the employees consortium, Tata Group has also submitted an EoI through AirAsia, where Tata owns a majority stake, sources have said. After the completion of the evaluation of the EOIs received, the Transaction Advisor will directly intimate the Qualified Interested Bidders in relation to their qualification and the next steps for the proposed transaction.

The backdrop

The total debt of Air India Ltd, as per the audited accounts of FY 2019-2020 (Prov), is Rs 38,366.39 crore. The above amount is after the transfer of debt amounting to Rs 22,064 crore during the FY 2019-20 to Air India Assets holding Limited being a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

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