Tata Group has officially taken over Air India, about three months after the Asian conglomerate had won the bid to acquire the debt-laden national carrier.
The takeover was announced on Thursday after the formalities had taken place, marking the return of the troubled airline to the company that first established it decades ago.
“The Tata Group takes over management and control of the airline, starting today,” a statement said.
The transaction for the purchase of Air India from the Government of India covers three entities – Air India, Air India Express and AI SATS, which provides ground handling and cargo handling services.
The company, through the Tata Sons’ subsidiary, Talace Pvt Ltd, had won the bid in October last year to acquire the ailing airline from the Indian government.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the government said the conglomerate paid Rs2,700 crore ($359 million) and took over the airline’s debt worth 15,300 crore as part of the transaction. The airline’s shares have also been transferred to Talace.
“The Air India strategic disinvestment transaction has been completed today with [the] government receiving a consideration of Rs2,700 crore from the strategic partner (M/s Talace Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of M/s Tata Sons Pvt Ltd), retaining debt of Rs15,300 crore in Air India and AIXL and transferring shares of Air India to the strategic partner,” the government said.
Tata Group had started Air India as Tata Airlines in 1932. The carrier was later nationalized in 1953.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Anoop Menon)
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