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Tata Sons may buy out Air Asia Berhad in Indian airline JV: Report

Amid financial difficulties caused by the pandemic, Tata Sons is reportedly in talks to purchase the 49 percent stake held by AirAsia in the joint venture.

October 05, 2020 / 09:47 AM IST

Tata Sons, which has a 51 percent holding in AirAsia India, may buy the balance 49 percent stake in the budget airline from the parent Malaysian company.

Amid financial difficulties caused by the pandemic, Tata Sons is in talks to purchase the 49 percent stake held by AirAsia in the joint venture, The Times of India reported.

"AirAsia, because of its financial difficulties, is not keen on infusing capital into the India JV. It wants the JV to take on debt to run the operations. Tata Sons is forced to consider buying out AirAsia," a source told the publication.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

Tata Sons declined to comment when contacted by the Times of India.

Also read: Tata vs Mistry | Shapoorji Pallonji Group's comment on Tata's aviation business may have touched a nerve, but is it correct?

AirAsia is working on raising as much as $600 million to deal with the financial blow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to media reports, AirAsia Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said India is a peripheral market for the company.

"We would never say that we would never exit India," Fernandes said.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had on October 4 suggested that AirAsia might close its operations in the country.

"AirAsia ki dukaan band ho rahi hai…matlab unki parent company mein problems hain. (Air Asia is downing its shutters…there are problems in the parent company). They may be in financial stress…That may be individual specific. But Chandigarh ki connectivity ki koi problem nahi hai." Puri told reporters, as quoted by The Indian Express.

Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 5, 2020 09:03 am