Air India, the debt-laden, state-owned airline, will be sold to either Tata Sons or SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh in 21 days. The government has already received the final bids from both parties. According to a report from the Business Standard, the airline’s successful bidder might be announced in 21 days or three weeks. In this time period, two high-level committees will be deciding the reserve price for the national carrier. This will be one of the biggest first steps in the disinvestment process of Air India. If everything goes within the planned time frame, by December, the government might even complete the transaction, and Air India could be a private company before the end of CY21.
Who Will decide Air India’s Reserve Price?
An inter-ministerial group (IMG), led by the secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), will decide the reserve price of Air India. Inputs from the government-appointed valuers will be taken as well.
DIPAM secretary tweeted on Wednesday, “Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by transaction adviser. The process now moves to the concluding stage.”
By the end of three weeks or 21 days, a successful bidder for the airline will be selected. Right now, the appointed bodies are keenly working to come up with the right reserve price for the airline. Once the final reserve price has been decided, it will be shared with the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM), which is headed by Amit Shah, Union Home Minister of India. AISAM comprise the finance minister, aviation minister, and commerce minister.
But there’s one more thing that might delay the plans of the government in selling the airline. It is the differences between the views of the bidders and the government. If there’s no agreement right away between the concerned parties, it will result in a delay for the airline being privatised.