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Reports say Tatas won Air India race, government denies

WION
New DelhiUpdated: Oct 01, 2021, 05:04 PM IST

Image for representation Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

Government denial of Tata Sons having won the bid to acquire Air India came within hours of a report by Bloomberg that said that the group was set to take-over the ailing airline. Givernment has said that media will be informed when such a decision would be taken

Tata Sons has emerged as winning bidder to take over state-run debt-laden Air India, Bloomberg reported on Friday. However, Secretary of Indian government's Department of Investment and Public Asset Management said within hours that media reports were 'incorrect'

"Media reports indicating approval of financial bids by Government of India in the AI disinvestment case are incorrect. Media will be informed of the Government decision as and when it is taken," tweeted the secretary.

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Earlier media reports had said that a panel of ministers had accepted proposal from officials and had recommended Tata Sons ahead of SpiceJet, a budget airline operator in India. 

Spokespersons of Air India and Tata Sons declined request from Reuters for a comment.

The debt-laden Air India has been kept aloft by a bailout since 2012. Indian PM Narendra Modi govt has been trying to sell its entire stake in the loss making airline.

The government loses nearly 200 million rupees every day to run the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of over 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials have said.

An effort to auction a majority stake almost three years ago drew no bids, forcing the government to ease the terms. It had also extended the deadline multiple times due to the pandemic.

(With inputs from agencies)