Air India is likely to be handed over to the Tata group by the end of this week, senior government officials said on Monday. After a competitive bidding process, the government had on October 8 last year sold Air India to Talace Private Limited — a subsidiary of the Tata group’s holding company — for Rs 18,000 crore.
Following that, on October 11, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was issued to the Tata group confirming the government’s willingness to sell its 100 percent stake in the airline.
On October 25, the Centre signed the share purchase agreement (SPA) for this deal. Officials said on Monday that the remaining formalities regarding this deal are expected to be completed in the next few days and the airline will be handed over to the Tata group by the end of this week.
As a part of the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 percent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS.
Tatas had on October 8 beat the Rs 15,100-crore offer by a consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh and the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore set by the government for the sale of its 100 percent stake in the loss-making carrier.
While this will be the first privatisation since 2003-04, Air India will be the third airline brand in the Tatas’ stable it holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.