Tata Group Holds Informal Talks With Government, Shows Interest In Buying Controlling Stake In Air India

Swarajya Staff

Jun 21, 2017, 02:42 PM | Updated 02:42 PM IST

Air India
Air India

The Tata group is holding informal talks with the Centre on the issue of privatisation of Air India, Times Now has reported, saying that the business conglomerate has shown ‘preliminary interest in buying controlling stake’ in the indebted airline.

Citing sources, the news channel has said that the Tata group may rope in Singapore Airlines, which it has a joint venture with, to buy the stake. Tata, in a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, operates Vistara Airlines, which currently has a market share of little over 2.8 per cent.

Singapore Airlines may buy 49 per cent stake in Air India if the airline is fully privatised as the government wants 51 per cent shareholding in the airline to be with an Indian firm, the channel has said in its report.

According to the Times of India, Tata and Singapore Airlines had tied up in the year 2000 when the then Bharatiya Janata Party government had decided to divest 40 per cent stake in Air India. In 2001, Singapore Airlines walked out of the partnership citing "adverse climate" and opposition to Air India’s privatisation. Air India was launched as Tata Airline back in the year 1932 by the Tata group.

Last week, the Economic Times had reported that the Union Cabinet is likely to give the go-ahead for stake sale in Air India this week. The options that the government is currently debating include outright sale and partial divestment.

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