9 Apr 2018

Air India Stake Sale: Swiss Aviation Consulting Denies Bidding For National Carrier

Swiss Aviation Consulting (SAC), an aviation advisory firm, on Monday denied a media report saying that it had expressed interest in buying the debt-laden state carrier Air India. SAC has never expressed interest in acquiring Air India or parts of it, or has acted as a front for some other stake holder, the company told Reuters. Earlier, the Economic Timesnewspaper quoted a senior aviation ministry official as saying that SAC has shown interest in bidding for Air India, although the report added that the Swiss company may only be scouting for clients.

The advisory firm said it has not been in contact with Indian government officials or Air India representatives regarding bidding for the carrier.
SAC offers services including aircraft asset management, sales and consultancy services on acquisitions, according to its website.

Recently, Interglobe Aviation Ltd, owner of the IndiGo brand, said was opting out of buying Air India because the terms set by the government were unfavourable. Tata Group and Turkey's Celebi Aviation Holdings, have expressed interest in buying some of Air India's operations.

Apart from Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services, other subsidiaries of Air India 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", according to the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM). Private entities should have a net worth of Rs. 5,000 crore to be eligible to send in their Expressions of Interest, it noted.

PM Modi's cabinet gave the go-ahead last year to sell Air India after successive governments spent billions of dollars to keep it solvent, but its debt load of about $8 billion and a bloated cost structure have made a sale difficult.

Source - NDTV

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