The Centre is likely to notify the qualified bidders for national carrier Air India by January 30, as the evaluation of the expressions of interest (EoI) is still underway, reports stated on Friday.
The second phase of the strategic disinvestment of Air India was scheduled to start on January 5 with the announcement of the names of the qualified bidders.
As per an IANS report that cited official sources, the transaction advisors are in touch with the interested bidders regarding several queries and the qualified bidders will be intimated only after the government is satisfied with the responses from the bidders.
Tata Sons are largely seen to be the winning bidder for the national carrier, followed by the New York-based Interups Inc backed by strategic NRI investors from the US and Europe.
DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had earlier said that the government has received multiple expressions of interest for the strategic disinvestment of Air India.
The disinvestment process has been divided into two stages.
In stage I, expressions of interest have been submitted by the interested bidders and they will be shortlisted based on the eligibility criteria and other terms mentioned in the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM).
In stage II, the shortlisted interested bidders will be provided with a request for proposal (RFP) and thereafter there will be a transparent bidding process.
In view of the prevailing situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the last date for submission of EOIs was extended up to December 14, 2020.
The privatisation of the flag-bearer has already faced several hurdles with initial lack of interest for the airline.