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Government invites bids for advisers on AI’s divestment

New Delhi: The government on Thursday invited bids from firms to appoint advisers to aide in the divestment of national passenger carrier Air India.

According to two separate notices on the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management’s website, the proposal for advisers have been invited to guide the government on financial and legal issues associated with the strategic disinvestment.

“The advisory will be required to undertake tasks related to all aspects of the strategic disinvestment culminating into successful completion of the transaction… to advising and assisting the government of India on the disinvestment modalities and the timing; and recommend the need for intermediaries required for the process of strategic sale,” read one of the notices.

The development comes as a ministerial group has been formed to look into the disinvestment modalities.

The group — Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism — headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is mandated to guide the divestment process and to decide on key issues such as treatment of AI’s debt and hiving-off of its assets.

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The airline, under massive debt burden of Rs 50,000 crore, had posted an operating profit of Rs 105 crore in 2015-16. For the 2016-17 fiscal, the company is expected to report an improved operating profit margin.

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