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'Air India disinvestment process closed, formalities completed', says DIPAM Secretary; Tatas new owners of airline

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Thursday, January 27, 2022, 04:51 PM IST

N Chandrasekaran, Tata Group CEO with Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PMO India/Twitter
N Chandrasekaran, Tata Group CEO with Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PMO India/Twitter
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The government on Thursday officially handed over Air India to the Tata Group.

The takeover of Air India by Tata Group has been formally completed, said N Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Sons which is the controlling entity of the conglomerate. Chandrasekharan said the group is very happy to have Air India back in its fold

Speaking to reporters here, Chandrasekharan said, ''We are totally delighted that the takeover process of Air India is complete.' We are very happy to have Air India back in the Tata group. We look forward to working with everyone to create a world-class airline,'' he added.

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey told reporters that Air India has been handed over to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Group's holding company, which is the successful bidder.

''Now, the new owners (of the airline) are Talace,'' Pandey noted.

Boosts ease of living for citizens: Tatas

In a statement, Ratan N. Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group, expressed 'thankful recognition to the Government of India and its various departments for the successful completion of this important transaction.

"The Tata Group would like to acknowledge Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's commitment to reforms and faith in India's entrepreneurship spirit, which made this historic transition possible. Our Prime Minister has in action demonstrated what his commitment to 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance'

"We philosophically agree with the Prime Minister's vision for the aviation sector, of making it affordable and ensuring it contributes to boosting 'Ease of Living' for citizens.

Ahead of the handing over of beleagured national airline Air India to Tatas, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons called on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. The PMO tweeted about it.

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Besides N Chandrasekaran, Air India board members and government nominee directors VA Patwardhan, SK Mishra arrived at Airlines House.

The government has notified the agreement between Air India and special purpose vehicle AIAHL for the transfer of non-core assets, ahead of the national airline’s takeover by the Tata Group.

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Tata Group to focus on airlines 'on-time-performance'

The Tata Group will focus on improving the airlines' On-Time-Performance, sources said. Tata will make big changes after the formal handover of Air India. The maximum emphasis will be given to ensure that all Air India aircraft fly on time, sources told ANI. Tata Group has also planned several other changes. There will be changes in seating arrangements and also the dress of the cabin crew.

Tata is a leading player in the hotel business and it will give top priority to improve the quality of food in the airline, sources said.

According to an Air India official, a recorded message of Ratan Tata will be played out on board in all Air India aircraft.

Bidding for airline announced in October 2021

Tata Sons won bid for acquiring the national for Rs 18,000 crore, the government announced in October 2021, marking the end of the process to privatise the national carrier with the government approving its disinvestment.

Tatas emerge highest bidder

Tata Sons' subsidiary Talace had emerged as the highest bidder for the national carrier under the divestment process. It had quoted an enterprise value of Rs 18,000 crore for 100 per cent equity shareholding of the Centre in Air India along with that of Air India Express and AISATS. On its part, the Centre had stipulated a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore.

The government has received Rs 2,700 crore, Rs 15,300 crore of debt which was to be serviced has been accepted.

CCI approves Air India acquisition

Last month, the Competition Commission of India approved the acquisition of Air India, Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services by Talace, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons.

The acquisition envisaged 100 per cent equity share capital of Air India and Air India Express, and 50 per cent for that of Air India SATS Airport Services by Talace.

The bid was filed by Tata Sons wholly-owned subsidiary Talace Pvt Ltd. Tata Sons were up against Spicejet promoter Ajay Singh-led consortium, which had bid Rs 15,100 crore.

After Tata Sons won the bid, the Group's chairman N Chandrasekaran termed it as a "historic moment" and said the Group's endeavour will be to build a world-class airline that makes every Indian proud.

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Published on: Thursday, January 27, 2022, 04:51 PM IST