Ground handling & engineering units of Air India to be sold soon, EoI invitation by November

AIR INDIA

The government is planning to invite expressions of interest (EoI) for the erstwhile ground-handling and engineering units of Air India by November as it aims to complete the transaction this fiscal, business daily the Economic Times reported.

The department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) last week started roadshows to scout for buyers for Air India Airport Services (AIASL) and Air India Engineering Services (AIESL) to scale bidders’ interest. Consultancy firm EY is the transaction adviser for the process, the report said.

ALSO READ – Air India subsidiaries to be privatised soon

AIR INDIA
Ground handling & engineering units of Air India to be sold soon, EoI invitation by November

The roadshows saw participation from Indian companies such as the Bird group and Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group which now owns Air India, for the ground handling unit. Major international companies such as Swiss ground handling company Swissport and Turkish firm Celebi Aviation Holding also showed interest.

ALSO READ – Celebi Aviation interested in bidding for Air India’s ground handling unit

The roadshow for AI engineering services also saw participation from Tata Sons and the Adani group. The roadshows are being conducted to take feedback from the industry so that the expression of interests (EoIs), the initial step to get the process going, can be designed in a way to get more responses.

As part of Air India’s divestment process, four of its former subsidiaries including Airline Allied Services of Alliance Air were transferred to AI Assets Holdings as a special purpose vehicle.

“We want to incorporate the feedback from the industry so that the sale process is simple and fast. The companies have been profitable and are very attractive with presence across India and ready-made trained workforce,” a government official told ET.

As part of the process, two agencies have been appointed to verify and tag the assets of the two companies that lie across airports in India.

As part of the share purchase agreement entered into between Tata Sons and the government during the disinvestment of Air India, there is a lock-in period of three years during which Air India is required to continue its business with the ground handling and engineering unit.

ALSO READ – Centre begins work on privatisation of Alliance Air & other Air India subsidiaries

The autos-to-steel conglomerate completed its purchase of Air India in January 2022.

As part of Air India’s divestment process, four of its former subsidiaries – AI Air Airport Services, Airline Allied Services of Alliance Air, AI Engineering Services and Hotel Corporation of India – along with non-core assets and other non-operating assets, were transferred to AI Assets Holdings as a special purpose vehicle.

The autos-to-steel conglomerate completed its purchase of Air India in January 2022.

ALSO READ – Air India unveils Vihaan – a comprehensive 5-year transformation plan

Air India recently said it was aiming to increase its domestic market share by more than over 30% and also expand its international presence. Releasing a transformation plan titled “Vihaan.AI”, the company on September 15 spelt out its objectives for the next five years.

(With Inputs from The Economic Times)

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