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Tata Group To File Expression Of Interest For Air India Today

Tata’s are exploring various options now on how to carry on this transaction, as the group has been associated with two airlines in India in the past, a joint venture with Singapore airlines and also in another joint venture with Air Asia.

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Tata Group will file an Expression of Interest for Air India on Monday, according to sources.
Tata group will use Air Asia as a vehicle where Tata Sons has a significant majority stake, sources informed.

According to various media reports, Tata’s are exploring various options now on how to carry on this transaction, as the group has been associated with two airlines in India in the past, a joint venture with Singapore airlines and also in another joint venture with Air Asia.
 
After EoI submission the suitors will have access to a virtual data room and all Air India records. Those that qualify will be invited to make the final bidding bids from 28th December, as the government seems to get the privatisation programme airborne after failing to sell majority stakes in the loss-making carrier two years ago.
 
Various reports said that the Tata group will use Air Asia as a tool where Tata Sons have significant stakes. Air Asia as an investment vehicle indicates that the Tata group has made its way to negotiate with Air Asia founder Tony Fernandes who holds the rest of the 49 per cent stake in Air Asia. According to the stakeholder agreement in Air Asia India, Tata’s cannot invest more than 10 per cent in another budget airline without Fernandes willing to waive the covenant.
 
Singapore Airlines (SIA), with which Tata Sons operates full-service airline Vistara, will not be part of the bid in the initial stages, according to media. The group was in talks with SIA to waive off a non-compete clause and partner with it in the proposed bid for Air India.  
 
Tata Group’s interest Air India was made public last November in an interview. Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Sons has indicated that Air India association might not be possible without it merging with its Vistara or Air Asia operations.  
 
Apart from Tata Group, many others like the Adani Group, Hinduja Group and many others are weighing bids for the debt-ridden airline despite the pandemic taking its toll on the airline sector.

Further details are awaited. (ANI)

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