Further delay in Air India sale? Government tweaks timeline, may not announce short-listed bidders on January 5
Instead, the government said it would directly contact the shortlisted bidders for Air India, but hasn't given a timeline for that.
December 31, 2020 / 03:07 PM IST
The deadline to submit physical bids for Air India was December 29.
In a curious tweak to its earlier communication regarding the Air India divestment, the government has now said it may not make an announcement on the short-listed bidders on January 5.
"Post completion of the evaluation of the EOls received, the Transaction Advisor will directly intimate the Qualified Interested Bidders (QIB) in relation to their qualification and the next steps for the Proposed Transaction," said the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, or DIPAM, on December 30, in the eleventh corrigendum to its invitation for expression of interest (EoI) for Air India.
With the latest amendment to the clause, "The government of India is now not required to complete the evaluation of the EOI’s received and intimate the qualified interested bidders by the 05th Jan 2021 as before. There is now no time frame to this," said Vinamra Longani, an aviation analyst and head of operations at aviation law firm Sarin & Co.
The new communication came just a day after Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told media persons that the government will be making an announcement on January 5, and details on bidders and their bids will be provided.
Till now, the government has refrained from naming the bidders. "Multiple EoIs have been received for strategic disinvestment of Air India. The Transaction will now move to the second stage," is all what DIPAM secretary had said on December 14, the last day to submit interest.
The deadline to submit physical bids was December 29.Tata Sons, US-based fund Interups and a consortium of Air India employees had initially shown interest. Later on December 29, Interups said it was backing out, but would now support the employee consortium.