The Centre on Thursday handed over the management control of national carrier Air India to a subsidiary of Tata Sons. With this Air India's strategic disinvestment was complete after the Centre received a consideration of Rs 2,700 crore from the 'Strategic Partner' -- Talace -- which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons. Besides the upfront payment, Talace will retain a debt of Rs 15,300 crore. Notably, the transaction covered three entities - Air India, Air India Express and AI SATS. "The strategic disinvestment transaction of Air India successfully concluded today with transfer of 100 per cent shares of Air India to M/s Talace Pvt Ltd along with management control. A new Board, led by the Strategic Partner, takes charge of Air India," tweeted Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).
On Thursday, Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi ahead of the official handover of Air India. Afterwards, at 'Airlines House', the HQ of Air India, a new board was constituted which included Tata Group's executives. "We are excited to have Air India back in the Tata Group and are committed to making this a world-class airline," Chandrasekaran said. "I warmly welcome all the employees of Air India, to our Group, and look forward to working together." Last month, the Competition Commission of India had approved the acquisition of Air India, Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services by Talace. The acquisition envisaged 100 per cent equity share capital of Air India and Air India Express, and 50 per cent for that of Air India SATS Airport Services by Talace. The airline, along with AIXL, is primarily engaged in the business of providing domestic and international scheduled air passenger transport service, along with air cargo transport service.
Air India SATS Airport Services is engaged in the business of providing ground handling services at Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram airports, and cargo handling services at Bengaluru airport. Tata Sons' subsidiary Talace had emerged as the highest bidder for the national carrier under the divestment process. It had 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 AISATS. On its part, the Centre had stipulated a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore.