New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre has invited bids to appoint two financial advisors and one legal advisor for the privatisation of national carrier Air India and its subsidiaries, the Ministry of Finance said in a newspaper advert on Thursday.
Officials have said they want the process to offload all or parts of Air India, which has struggled under losses and its debts, by early 2018.
Interested investment banks and law firms have until October 12 to pitch for their role in the privatisation.
On June 28, the Union Cabinet had given in-principle approval for disinvestment of Air India.
A group under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had been formed to decide upon the modalities of Air India's stake sale. The Cabinet choose between two options suggested in a presentation by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management. The discussions were on both the Niti Aayog's recommendation of complete privatisation and the civil aviation ministry's proposal of debt reduction.
Founded in the 1930s and known to generations of Indians for its Maharajah mascot, Air India has a complex fleet, too many staff relative to rivals and $8.5 billion in debt. Since 2012, New Delhi has injected $3.6 billion to keep it afloat.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - Reuters)