New Delhi, October 1: Tata Sons has been selected as the winning bidder for the debt-laden Air India, reports informed on Friday. According to a report by Bloomberg, a panel of ministers has accepted the conglomerate's proposal to take over the airline. It added saying that an official announcement is expected in the coming days. The Tatas bid was much-anticipated as its name of had been doing the rounds for some time now.

However, soon after the news that Tata Sons has won the bid surfaced, the Secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), on Friday issued a statement and said that media reports showing the approval of financial bids by the Government in the Air India disinvestment case are incorrect. The top official said that once a decision is taken in this regards, the media will be informed. Tatas were among the frontrunners to buy the carrier. The company had submitted its bid last month.

Reports inform that the government will divest its 100 percent stake in Air India, Air India Express, and 50 percent stake in ground handling company (AISATS). On September 15, the Centre received multiple financial bids for the divestment of Air India. Accordingly, Tata Sons and industrialist Ajay Singh in his personal capacity had submitted financial bids for Air India.

During the Budget speech for FY22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that all the proposed privatisation processes would be completed by the end of the fiscal, including the much-delayed strategic disinvestment of Air India. Air India has been in losses ever since its merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007.

Air India, originally called Tata Airlines, was established in 1932 by the legendary industrialist and philanthropist JRD Tata. With the new deal, Tatas will now get control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, as well as 900 slots at airports overseas.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 01, 2021 12:28 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website