Tata Group filed an Expression of Interest for Air India to the Disinvestment Ministry and will now be expected to submit its financial bid within the next 15 days. This is just an expression of interest and not a financial bid and it has been submitted as the deadline ends today, Tatas said. An expression of interest indicates a buyer's interest in acquiring a company. The deadline for filing expression of interest ends at 5 pm. It is still not known whether Tatas plan to acquire Air India with their existing partners, i.e. Air Asia or Vistara, or go it alone.
The shortlisted bidder will be expected to pick up ₹ 23,286 crores of the ₹ 60,000 crore total debt of the airline. The remaining debt will be transferred by the government into a special purpose vehicle called Air India Assets Holding.
The disinvestment of Air India will be based on its enterprise value, i.e. calculation of its market capitalisation, short-term and long-term debt and any cash on its balance sheet.
The government had failed to sell a majority stake in Air India in 2018 due to absence of any suitors.