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EoI bids deadline for AI’s divestment process extended

New Delhi, May 1: The Central government on Tuesday extended the deadline for the submission of ‘Expression of Interest’ (EoI) bids under Air India’s divestment process to May 31, 2018.
According to a ‘Corrigendum’ issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the last date for EoI bid submission has been extended to May 31, 2018 from May 14.
Consequently, the date for the “intimation to the Qualified Interested Bidders” (QIB) has also been extended to June 15 from May 28.
Besides, the ministry issued a separate document on clarifications sought by interested bidders regarding the divestment process.
On several queries regarding the government’s plans to retain 24 per cent stake in the divested entity, the ministry replied: “GOI is divesting 76 per cent along with management control.”
“GOI will have rights similar to that of a minority investor as per Companies Act and as per Shareholders’ Agreement. A draft Shareholders’ Agreement will be provided at RFP stage.”
In addition the ministry clarified that ESOPs (employee stock ownership plan) will also be provided from GoI’s shareholding.
On March 28, the central government had issued a Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) inviting “EoI” for the strategic divestment of AI, along with the airline’s shares in AIXL (Air India Express) and AISATS (Air India SATS Airport Services) from private entities including the airline’s employees.
The central government owns 100 per cent equity of Air India. In turn, the airline holds full stake in Air India Express, while it holds 50 per cent stake in the joint venture AISATS.  Accordingly, it has been planned to divest 76 per cent government stake in AI, 100 per cent in AIXL and 50 per cent in AISATS.
“The Government of India has given ‘in-principle’ approval for the strategic disinvestment of AI by way of the transfer of management control and sale of 76 per cent equity share capital of AI held by GOI, which will include AI’s shareholding interest in the AIXL and AISATS,” the PIM document had said.
The document detailed that apart from AIXL and AISAT, other subsidiaries of AI Group like AIESL (Air India Engineering Services Ltd), AIATSL (Air India Air Transport Services Ltd), HCI (Hotel Corporation of India) and AASL (Airline Allied Services Ltd), “will not be part of the proposed transaction”. (IANS)