Privatisation of Air India and stake sale in its subsidiaries for which bids have been invited is set to spill over to FY21 with the government giving more time to investors for clearing doubts on the terms of sale. The ministry of civil aviation has extended the due date for investors to seek clarifications on the terms of sale up to midnight of 6 March, from the earlier deadline of 11 February, as per a change notified by the ministry on the information document given to investors. ‘This invariably means that the process of disinvestment will get stretched to FY21 as investors will need to be given at least 15 days to make their submissions (expressions of interest) after their queries are clarified,’ a person familiar with the development said on condition of anonymity. Qualified bidders will then make financial bids.
The government started the process on 27 January by releasing an information document for investors and offering access to financial and other data of the companies on the block. The government’s entire stake in Air India, its 100 per cent stake in low-cost subsidiary Air India Express Ltd. and 50 per cent stake in ground handling unit Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd. are on offer.