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Tata Sons to retain Air India debt of over Rs 15K crore

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) Tata Sons' subsidiary Talace, which emerged as the highest bidder for national carrier Air India, will retain over Rs 15,000 crore worth of airline's debt.

Talace quoted an enterprise value of Rs 18,000 crore for 100 per cent equity shareholding of the Centre in Air India, along with that of Air India Express and the AISATS.

Out of the Rs 18,000 crore, Talace will retain Rs 15,300 crore in debt, while the rest will be paid to the Centre as the cash component.

After the execution of the Share Purchase Agreement, the Centre will be left with debt of Rs 46,262 crore.

Besides, the transaction does not include non-core assets including land and building, valued at Rs 14,718 crore, which are to be transferred to the Centre's Air India Asset Holding Ltd (AIAHL).

In total, Air India had a total debt of Rs 61,562 crore.

On Friday, Tata Sons' subsidiary Talace was declared the highest bidder for national carrier Air India under the divestment process.

The bid was higher than the consortium led by industrialist Ajay Singh, which had quoted an EV of Rs 15,100 crore.

The Centre had stipulated a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore.

There were only two bidders in the final stage of divestment.

Based on the bid results, Centre will enter into a share purchase agreement with Talace by December-end.

The decision to enter into the sale purchase agreement with the Tatas was taken by the empowered Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism, Divestment Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said.

"The next step will be to issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) and then sign the Share Purchase Agreement following which, the conditions precedent would need to be satisfied by the successful bidder, the company and Government," an official communique said.

"It is expected that the transaction will be completed by December 2021."