The government has extended the preliminary bid submission deadline for buying Pawan Hans by a month till February 18.
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) had in December invited bids for strategic sale, along with transfer of management control, of helicopter service provider Pawan Hans. The date for bid submission was January 19.
The deadline has now been extended to February 18 in view of the "prevailing Covid-19 situation and consequent logistical challenges faced by Interested Bidders," DIPAM said in a notice.
The government owns 51 per cent stake in Pawan Hans, while Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) holds the remaining 49 per cent. ONGC has decided to offer its entire shareholding in the company for sale along with the government stake.
Pawan Hans was incorporated in October 1985 as a public sector undertaking to primarily provide helicopter services for the exploration activities of ONGC and to India's northeast.
As on July 31, 2020, Pawan Hans' total manpower was 686, with 363 regular and 323 contractual employees.
For 2019-20, the company reported a net loss of Rs 28 crore, lower than Rs 69 crore in 2018-19.
As on March 31, 2020, its authorised capital stood at Rs 560 crore and paid-up share capital at Rs 557 crore.
In 2018, the government had invited bids to sell 51 per cent stake in Pawan Hans. However, it was withdrawn after ONGC decided to sell its 49 per cent stake in the company along with the government's.
In 2019, a second attempt was made to sell Pawan Hans but the sale process failed to receive investor response.
The strategic sale of Pawan Hans is likely to spill over to next fiscal beginning April. The process of privatisation of Air India, BPCL, BEML, Shipping Corp and Ferro Scrap Nigam Ltd (FSNL) is ongoing.
So far this fiscal, the government has netted Rs 15,220 crore through minority stake sale in CPSEs and share buybacks.