Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority is not involved in the bidding process for the national carrier Air India Limited with a consortium comprising SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh and Bird Group promoter Ankur Bhatia, a spokesperson for Ras Al Khaimah government told Mint.
“The Ras Al Khaimah government is aware of a story circulating in the international and local media of a potential transaction relating to Air India, the national air carrier of India, with the reports citing that one of the parties involved is a Ras Al Khaimah government institution,” the spokesperson said.
“Neither the Ras Al Khaimah government nor any of its related entities or authorities are in any way connected to any such potential transaction relating to Air India,” the spokesperson added.
As things stand, shortlisted bidders for national carrier Air India Limited will have to submit their offer in the next two months as the government hopes to conclude 100% divestment in the airline.
So far, Tata Group and SpiceJet’s chairman and managing director Ajay Singh, along with Bird Group’s Ankur Bhatia have been shortlisted to bid for the carrier in their personal capacity, according to media reports. Both Singh and Bhatia didn’t offer comments.
Mint had on 5 April reported that Tata Sons Ltd, the front-runner to buy state-run Air India Ltd, and the government are close to sealing the terms of the purchase, having managed to narrow their differences on the three key sticking points of pension liabilities, real estate assets and debt.
Final talks between both parties are under way, and a financial bid will be submitted by the Tata group as early as this month.
The government is keen to sell Air India, which has been surviving on government bailout. The airline has failed to turn in an annual profit since it was merged with state-run Indian Airlines in 2007. The Tata Group, which already owns AirAsia India and Vistara, hopes the purchase of Air India will give it access to lucrative airport slots in India and abroad and a large fleet of aircraft.