New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) The Finance Ministry on Friday said Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd will buy the government's 51 per cent stake in helicopter services provider Pawan Hans Ltd (PHL), along with the transfer of management control, for Rs 211.14 crore.
The reserve price for the strategic sale, which comes after three unsuccessful attempts, was fixed at Rs 199.92 crore based on the valuation carried out by the transaction adviser and asset valuer.
Loss-making PHL is a 51:49 joint venture of the government and ONGC. ONGC had earlier decided to offer its entire shareholding to the successful bidder identified in the government strategic disinvestment transaction, on the same price and terms as government.
The government in December last year received three financial bids for buying the company.
'M/s Star9 Mobility Private Ltd, a consortium of M/s Big Charter Private Limited, M/s Maharaja Aviation Private Limited and M/s Almas Global Opportunity Fund SPC; emerged as the highest bidder quoting Rs 211.14 crore, which was above the Reserve Price.
'The other two bids were for Rs 181.05 crore and Rs 153.15 crore. Following due deliberations, the financial bid of M/s Star9 Mobility Private Limited has been accepted by the Government,' the Ministry said in a statement.
The Alternative Mechanism, comprising Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, has 'approved the highest bid of M/s Star9 Mobility Private Ltd for sale of entire GoI’s shareholding (51 per cent of shareholding) of PHL and transfer of management control', an official statement said.
'The strategic disinvestment transaction was implemented through an open, competitive bidding process supported by a multi-layered consultative decision-making mechanism involving Inter-Ministerial Group, Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment and the empowered Alternative Mechanism,' the statement said.
The transaction now moves to the concluding stage. The next steps are issuing of the Letter of Award, signing of the Share Purchase Agreement and closing of the transaction.
Pawan Hans has been incurring losses in the last three years (FY-19, FY-20 and FY-21). It has a fleet of 42 helicopters of which 41 are owned by the company.
The owned helicopters have an average age of over 20 years and three-fourths of them are presently not being manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer.
'With this privatization, it is expected that the strategic buyer will revitalize the company by replacing the ageing fleet through the infusion of fresh capital and improve the performance of the company,' the Ministry said.
In October 2016, the CCEA approved the strategic disinvestment of the entire GoI stake in PHL and post that the government made three futile attempts to sell its stake.
In the first round, the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) was issued on October 13, 2017 seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI). Out of four EOIs received, only one was found eligible and the transaction was cancelled.
In the second round, PIM was issued seeking EOIs on April 14, 2018 and two bidders were found eligible and were issued the Request for Proposal (RFP). Finally, however, a single, incomplete bid non-compliant with the RFP was received.
In the third round, PIM was issued seeking EOIs on July 11, 2019. Out of four EOIs received, only one was found eligible and the process was cancelled.
The strategic sale of Pawan Hans was successful in its fourth iteration with the request for Expressions of Interest (EoI) invited on December 8, 2020.
Seven EoIs were received and four interested bidders were shortlisted as qualified bidders. After detailed due diligence, the qualified bidders were invited to submit financial bids, following which three financial bids were received.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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