In an embarrassing turn of events, the state-owned Air India airline has not received any buyer for government's 76% stake, a day before the bidding closes on Thursday.
Civil Aviation secretary RN Choubey today said the government would not extend the bidding deadline any further, after its extension from May 14 to May 31.
Here are the details.
No one wants to buy Air India
Air India's debt stands at whopping $5.1 billion
Air India is reeling under the debt worth $5.1 billion.
The Modi-led central government has been enthusiastic about offloading its stake, but it will have to wait even further if companies don't show up by tomorrow, the last date for bidding.
Earlier, Jet Airways and rival IndiGo publicly opted out of the race.
Civil aviation ministry received 160 queries
The Civil Aviation ministry earlier made public 160 queries it received from interested bidders seeking information on government's initial terms. These queries were mainly restricted to the airline's debt, the impact of government's decision to hold 24% stake and other liabilities of the airline.
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Tough terms for the companies
While disclosing the terms of purchase, the government had said that the winner could not merge the airline with an existing business as long as the government holds a stake.
The buyer will also have to abide the guidelines to safeguard employees' interests- a labor-friendly decision, but a setback for companies.
Tata Group was projected as a possible buyer, but they haven't issued an official statement either.