“The government has the right to sell or not to sell Air India if the bid price is found to be inadequate,” Choubey said, even as he expressed confidence that the ailing airline would fetch a good price.
While the deadline for submission of Expression of Interest ends on May 31, the secretary said the Request For Proposal could be issued after June 15. He said the highest bidder for the airline would be known by August-end. But, the highest bidder might not be the successful bidder, he said, adding the government intends to complete the disinvestment by year-end.
“Though the transaction advisor (EY) will assess the enterprise value, the right price for the airline will be decided by us,” he said. Asked about AI employees’ union protests against the proposed sale, he said they were conscious of the fact that airlines would do well after privatisation.
Earlier, Choubey had said the disinvestment process in the government carrier had generated a great deal of interest.