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Govt invites bids to appoint banks, lawyers to oversee disinvestment

14 Septembre 2017

The government of India on Thursday took another step in the process for disinvestment of debt-laden state-run carrier Air India as it invited applications from investment bankers, law firms and other entities to advise on the strategic stake sale of the flag carrier.

"Air India is looking for Government Guarantee backed INR STLs totaling upto Rs 3,250 crore in the first phase to meet its urgent working capital requirements by 25th Sept 2017", the airline said in a tender document which was released on Wednesday.

Banks have been asked to submit their financial bids by September 19, indicating the amount of government-guaranteed short-term loans they are willing to offer.

"The tenure of the loan will be for a period of one year from the date of availing the STL".

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Under a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA regime, Air India is to receive up to Rs 30,231 crore from the government subject to meeting certain performance thresholds.

The government has decided on strategic disinvestment of loss-making Air India by early 2018, which is guzzling up taxpayers' money ridden with inefficiencies and mismanagement. The ten-year bailout package began from 2012.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its in-principle nod for the strategic disinvestment of the airline - which has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore - in June this year.

Subsequently, an Air India-specific alternative mechanism was set up to guide the process.

Govt invites bids to appoint banks, lawyers to oversee disinvestment