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Stake sale of Pawan Hans and Air India on

By IndianMandarins- 05 Dec 2018
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Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) secretary Atanu Chakraborty revealed recently that the government has received “substantial” interest for Pawan Hans stake sale and plans for Air India disinvestment.

 

The government owns 51% in Pawan Hans, which has a fleet of 46 choppers. The remaining 49% is with state-run ONGC. If the sale goes through, the government will exit the chopper-maker. The disinvestment process is on, as ONGC refused to buy out the government’s stake when it was proposed last year.

 

 

SBI Capital is advising the government on the bidding process. In April, the government had issued the information memorandum for the 51% strategic stake sale in Pawan Hans and had sought expressions of interest (EoI) from interested bidders by 18 June.

 

Further, Chakraborty denied that Air India’s disinvestment plans were put on the back burner saying the process is a continuing exercise.

 

“As a part of that, an expression of interest has been invited for Air India Air Transport Services (AIATSL). And, certain other assets of Air India are in the process of being sold,” he added.

 

AIATSL is the profit-making ground handling arm of the national carrier. In 2016-17, AIATSL raked in a profit of Rs61.66 crore.

The government had in June 2017 unsuccessfully tried to offload 76% stake in the national carrier. As part of the disinvestment, the government was planning to transfer most of the debt to a special purpose vehicle.

 

He said the government will continue to use exchange-traded funds (ETF) as one of its preferred modes for disinvestment. On the ongoing CPSE ETF, he said, against the Rs8,000 crore offering, a subscription of Rs30,000 crore has been received, but the government will retain only Rs17,000 crore.

 

He said the retail portion was fully subscribed, and there was a big interest shown by FPIs who offered almost Rs13,000 crore, both in the anchor and non-anchor categories. He said the work on debt ETF is also on progress.

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