The Tata Group makes a bid for the debt-ridden Indian National Carrier.
Tata Group, India’s tea-to-steel giant, said Wednesday that it had made a bid to buy debt-ridden national carrier Air India, which it formerly owned before it was nationalized.
After failing to garner any interest for a majority portion, the Indian government has decided to sell its whole investment in the failing corporation, setting a deadline for offers for Wednesday.
“We have made a bid,” a Tata Group spokesman told AFP late Wednesday, without providing any other information.
Tata already owns AirAsia India and Vistara, two airlines.
According to The Times of India, Ajay Singh, the founder of Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet, also lodged a personal proposal.
SpiceJet declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the secretary of the government’s investment and public asset management department, stated that bids had been received.
He tweeted on Wednesday, “Process now advances to closing stage.”
Tata Airlines, founded by the Tata Group in 1932, was the first commercial airline in India.
The airline, formerly dubbed the “Maharaja of the Skies,” was ultimately taken over by the government and renamed Air India.
However, it has been losing money for more than a decade, racking up billions in debt and losing market share to low-cost competitors in one of the world’s fastest-growing, but fiercely competitive, airline sectors.
Aside from Air India, the government intends to generate billions of dollars through the privatization of Bharat Petroleum and the sale of a large insurer’s shares.
New Delhi announced in August that it was looking to lease state-owned assets to the private sector in order to raise six trillion rupees ($81 billion) to restore public finances and construct new infrastructure that had been harmed by the virus.