Tata Sons Raises Stake in AirAsia India

Tata Sons has increased its stake in AirAsia India to 41% from 30% earlier, with a corresponding reduction in the share of Telestra Tradeplace's Arun Bhatia to 10% from 21%. The board of the Indo-Malaysian airline, in which AirAsia Berhad owns 49% share, cleared the change in equity structure on Friday last week.
People familiar with the development said Tata Sons has increased its stake by infusing more equity into the Chennai-based carrier. The airline has increased its equity base to Rs.125 crore from Rs.50 crore earlier.
The Tata Group may increase its stake to 48% eventually.
The Tata Group has maintained that its involvement in AirAsia India should be looked as an investment while it is involved in Vistara as a promoter. The group owns 51% in Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines in which the latter owns 49%. The decision to increase stake in AirAsia India to 41% could, however, signal a change in strategy.
The airline board also approved the elevation of Mittu Chandilya to managing director and chief executive from CEO earlier and accepted the resignation of chief financial officer Vijay Gopalan.The CFO's post is likely to go to a Tata group representative now.
The board is likely to get a new representative from the Tata Group in PK Ghose, finance director of Tata Chemicals. Ghose, whose application has been sent to the civil aviation ministry for mandatory security clearance, may replace Bharat Vasani on the board.
Analysts said that the Tata group could eventually increase its stake in the airline to 51%. 

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