As the government moves ahead with Air India disinvestment, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said the deadline for submission of financial bids will be September 15, indicating that there will be no extension for submitting the bids.
In April, the government started the process for inviting financial bids for the debt-ridden airline and September 15 was set as the deadline.
Apart from offloading its entire stake in loss-making Air India, the government will be selling budget airline Air India Express and Air India's 50 per cent stake in AISATS. The latter provides cargo and ground handling services.
Speaking to reporters here, Scindia said the deadline will remain September 15.
The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest (EoI) or preliminary bids was extended five times before closing it in December last year.
In July this year, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh told the Lok Sabha that multiple EoIs were received and evaluated by the transaction advisor for the selection of Qualified Interested Bidders (QIBs).
"Request for Proposal (RFP) along with draft Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) have been shared with QIBs by the transaction advisor on March 30, 2021, for submission of financial bids," he had said.
In October 2020, the government announced that bidding for Air India would be on the basis of enterprise value instead of equity value.
The enterprise value includes the equity value, debt as well as cash with the company. Equity value measures the value of a company's shares.
The government's efforts to divest Air India in 2018 failed to take off after it did not receive any bid when the deadline closed on May 31, 2018.
At that time, the proposal was to sell 76 per cent equity share capital of the national carrier as well as transfer the management control to private players.