Air India has received a good response to an auction of its 14 properties with 10 of them getting bids worth more than their reserve price, PTI has reported. These properties include flats, land plots as well as office buildings across the country.
“We have received good bids for the properties that were put up for auction today. We got bids above the reserve price for 10 out of the total 14 properties,” Air India chairman and managing director Rajiv Bansal told PTI. “The proceeds from this will go towards paying our debts, although these are baby steps,” Bansal added.
Air India expects to mop up at least Rs500 crore from the sale of these properties. State-run auctioneer MSTC has been mandated to e-auction these properties.
The Centre is planning to complete the sale of debt-ridden Air India by the end of this year, Economic Times had reported in August. The carrier has debt of around Rs 60,000 crore. This includes Rs 21,000 crore of aircraft-related loan and around Rs 8,000 crore working capital loan. Of all the options that the government is considering to bail itself out of the massive cash abyss that Air India continues to push it into, a reverse bid seems to be the one on the top.
A reverse bid will involve pitting the Rs 30,000-crore debt against many of its exclusive resources including rights such as landing slots and other operating assets that it owns and its unmatched infrastructure at airports across the country.
Sources in the Ministry of Civil Aviation have revealed that IndiGo has shown interest in acquiring the stake. Tata Group is also known to have held informal talks with the government for buying ‘controlling stake’ in the indebted airline.
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