GoM to decide on winning bidder for Air India

Tata Group and SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh have submitted their bids for taking over the cash-strapped carrier.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah will meet soon to take a decision on the winning bidder for Air India, a top government official said.

“Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism [AISAM] will meet soon to decide,” the official told The Hindu.

AISAM is the name given to the GoM headed by Mr. Shah. It includes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

The statement means that while a decision has been taken on who has bagged Air India by the Committee of Secretaries, it is yet to be approved by the GoM.

Earlier this month, Tata Sons and a grouping led by SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh placed their financial bids for Air India.

The government will divest its 100% stake in Air India, Air India Express and a 50% stake in ground handling company AISATS. The bids for the national carrier are being sought at enterprise value instead of equity value as the government had changed the bidding parameter for Air India.

As per the plan, 15 per cent of the total enterprise value will have to be paid upfront in cash to the government and the rest will be used to reduce the debt burden on the airline.

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