We are evaluating Air India: Vistara chairman on national carrier’s disinvestment

NEW DELHI: As the government has restarted the process of Air India’s disinvestment this year, Vistara chairman Bhaskar Bhat on Monday said that they were evaluating the national carrier and the decision on bidding will be taken later.
After its unsuccessful bid to sell Air India in 2018, the central government this time has decided to off-load its entire stake. In 2018, the government had offered to sell its 76 per cent stake in the airline.
Bhat told reporters,”We are evaluating Air India. Which company would not be interested in evaluating a sovereign airline of the country?…Whether we bid or not comes later.”
On being asked if Vistara or Tata Sons were evaluating Air India, Bhat replied: “We (Vistara) are a joint venture.”
The government in January restarted the divestment process of Air India and invited bids for selling 100 per cent of its equity in the state-owned airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Limited and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.
The last date for putting bids is March 17 and interested bidders for Air India should have a net worth of Rs 3,500 crore.
The government expects to complete the sale of Air India in the first half of the next fiscal, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said on February 14.

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