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Air India news | IndiGo and Etihad have shown interest in buying Air India

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The government, which failed to sell 76% of Air India last year, is offering a 100% share this time. But the response to roadshows in Singapore and London was not encouraging. The center is likely to provide an expression of interest (EoI) ...

Air India news: A government official said, IndiGo, India's largest airline by market share, and Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, have met and expressed interest in India's national airline. 

"Representatives of these companies have met government officials and have expressed an informal interest in the national operator. The official, who asked not to be identified, said," The Tata Group has not shown any interest yet. "

The government, which failed to sell 76% of Air India last year, is offering a 100% share this time. But the response to roving presentations in Singapore and London was not encouraging.

The authorities said, however, they saw the interest of two private equity investors. There are these two companies and two private equity investors who have shown some interest. "It is unlikely that a major airline like Air India will receive more attention," the official said.

The center will likely provide EoI (Expression Of Interest) documents next month.

Potential Suitors for AirIndia

Owned 24% jet airways

Between these two providers, IndiGo could make a bid for 100% in Air India, but the Etihad can only own 49% according to current FDI standards.

The rules allow a foreign operator to own up to 49% in an Indian airline, but 100% foreign investment in an airline is allowed. This means Etihad can bid for a 100% stake in Air India in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) or with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund is an infrastructure investment firm on which the Indian government is based, with ADIA a major investor.

Until recently, Etihad 24% owned of Jet Airways but decided not to fund the financially troubled airline, which led to its grounding in April.

Email surveys to IndiGo and Etihad have not received any response at the time of this Monday's publication.

The government, which did not receive a single bid in its first attempt to sell Air India last year, was cautious this time and offered several relaxations, such as a 100% stake in the airline, a major debt and liability restructuring and allowing the new owner to offer VRS to employees.

Under the plan which is still under discussion, the government will pay Air India's fee of Rs. 22,000 crore to suppliers such as airports and oil companies before putting up the airline for sale. It can also exempt the company's total working capital of about Rs. 15,500 crore, leaving Air India with a credit of Rs 20,000 crore.

Under the approved plan, Air India will be offered alongside low-cost international Air India Express, in addition to its 50% stake in Air India Singapore Airport Terminal Services.

Image Source: economictimes.indiatimes

Also read: Reliance e-commerce gears up to challenge Amazon, Flipkart in 2020

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