Now, sale of Air India's subsidiaries on anvil
New Delhi: After the historic Air India privatisation, the government will now start work on monetising its four other subsidiaries, including Alliance Air, and over Rs14,700 crore worth non-core assets like land and building, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said.
The government on October 8, 2021, had announced that salt-to-software conglomerate. Tata have won the bid to acquire debt-laden national carrier Air India for Rs18,000 crore. This includes a cash payment of Rs2,700 crore and taking over Rs15,300 crore debt. The deal, which is expected to be completed by December-end, also includes sale of Air India Express and ground handling arm AISATS.
Pandey said that the DIPAM will now get down to working out a plan for monetising the subsidiaries of Air India which are with the special purpose vehicle Air IndiaAssets Holding Ltd (AIAHL) and setting off the liabilities.
"There will be a plan for monetising the assets of AIAHL. It is a very big task again of clearing of AIAHL liabilities and disposal of assets. In the AIAHL there is a company of ground handling, engineering and Alliance Air which have to be privatised," said Pandey, who spearheaded Air India privatisation.
"It (sale of subsidiaries) could not be started because these all are intimately linked. Unless and until Air India goes, we could not proceed with other things," he added. As a precursor to Air India sale, the government in 2019 had set up a special purpose vehicle. AIAHL, for holding debt and non-core assets of the Air India group. Four Air India subsidiaries - Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), Airline Allied Services Ltd (AASL), Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) and Hotel Corporation of India Ltd (HCI), along with non-core assets, painting and artefacts, and other non-operational assets, was transferred to the SPV.