The handover of Air India is expected to happen any day after Republic Day on 26 January. Senior government officials said on Monday that Air India is likely to be handed over to the Tata Group by the end of this week. On October 8 last year, the government sold Air India to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Group’s holding company, for Rs 18,000 crore. After that, a letter of intent was issued to the Tata Group on October 11, confirming the government’s desire to sell its 100 per cent stake in the airline.
On October 25, the Center signed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the deal. The rest of the formalities regarding the deal are expected to be completed in the next few days and the airline will be handed over to the Tata group by the end of this week, officials said on Monday.
Officials said that they are working round the clock to complete all the procedures this week. Another official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that he may have to work even on January 26 so that the handover can be done on Thursday. We have done a good job so far in providing all support for the disinvestment exercise.
Tata on October 8 withdrew an offer of Rs 15,100 crore by a consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh. 18,000 crore bid to buy the loss-making airline. The government had kept a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in the state-owned airline.
Air India will be the third airline brand in Tata’s fleet. It has a joint venture Vistara with AirAsia India and Singapore Airlines Limited.
JRD Tata founded Tata Airlines in 1932. Airlines were stopped during the Second World War. When the airlines were restored again, on 29 July 1946, the name of Tata Airlines was changed to Air India Limited. After independence, in 1947, 49 percent of Air India’s participation was taken by the government. It was nationalized in 1953. In this way the Tata Group once again got its own company back after 68 years.