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Tata Wins Bids Takes Over Air India In $2.45bn

NEW DELHI: India’s Tata Sons has won a competitive bid for acquiring the country’s flag carrier Air India, including its wholly-owned subsidiary Air India Express and 50% stake in Air India SATS, it was announced by the government.

Tata group was the successful bidder of the divestment process of Air India, it said. The Tata group’s holding company, Tata Sons through its wholly-owned subsidiary Talace Pvt Ltd submitted a winning bid of Rs18,000 crore ($2.4 billion) as the enterprise value of Air India. SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh (in his private capacity) had also placed bids for the airline.

Consequent to the acquisition, the Tatas will own a 100% stake in Air India (a full- service airline operating in domestic and international markets) as also 100% in its subsidiary Air India Express (a low-cost carrier airline that focusses on short-haul international operations especially in the Middle East market) and 50% in the joint venture Air India SATS (airport services on ground and cargo handling). The total permanent and contractual employee strength of Air India and AIXL is 13,500.

As on August 31, 2021, Air India had a total debt of Rs61,562 crore, out of that Rs15,300 crore will be taken over by the bidder, said a government official. Rs46,262 crore will be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Limited (AIAHL), an SPV formed by the government. Tata Group will not get the lands and buildings in the name of Air India; they will be transferred to AIAHL.

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons Pvt Ltd, said: “At the Tata group, we are delighted to be declared as the winner of the bid for Air India. This is a historic moment, and it will be a rare privilege for our group to own and operate the country’s flag bearer airline. It will be our endeavour to build a world-class airline that makes every Indian proud. On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to JRD Tata, pioneer of Indian aviation, whose memory we cherish.”

Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising 30 companies across 10 verticals. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission ‘To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.

In 2020-21, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion. These companies collectively employ over 800,000 people.

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