New Delhi: The government will soon invite fresh bids for 100% stake sale in Pawan Hans by issuing an addendum to the disinvestment document as Oil and Natural Gas Corp. of India Ltd (ONGC) is ready to sell its entire stake in the company, an official said. Helicopter services provider Pawan Hans is a joint venture of the government, which holds 51% stake, and state-owned ONGC, which owns the remaining 49% shareholding. Pawans Hans has a fleet of 46 choppers.

On 13 April, the government had issued the information memorandum for the 51% strategic stake sale in Pawan Hans and had sought Expression of Interest (EoI) from interested bidders by 18 June. About half a dozen bidders are believed to have submitted bids.

On 2 July, ONGC wrote to the government saying that its board has resolved that it would prefer to exit Pawan Hans simultaneously with the government. Against this backdrop, the senior government official said an addendum to the existing document would be issued soon, seeking bids for 100% stake in Pawan Hans.

“An addendum would be issued to the EoI (Expression of Interest) document issued on 13 April. The addendum would state that ONGC has expressed its interest in selling its 49% holding and fresh bids can be put in for the entire 100% stake," the official told PTI.

According to the official, the existing bids for the government’s 51% stake would stay. “We want to give other investors a chance in case they want to bid for entire 100% stake," the official added.

SBI Capital Markets is the transaction advisor for strategic disinvestment of Pawan Hans.

The government had first floated an offer to sell its 51% stake in October last year, but in view of subdued response from bidders, the EoI was withdrawn in April this year. At that time, some investors had suggested that the government and ONGC should sell their stakes together.

“Potential investors had then suggested that ONGC’s 49% stake too should be sold along with government’s 51%. They feared that ONGC holding 49% could mean government interference in some way," the official said.

Later on 13 April, the government came out with a fresh information memorandum for the strategic sale of Pawan Hans wherein bidders need to have a minimum net worth of 500 crore.

Among others, Pawan Hans provides seven choppers to ONGC for its offshore helicopter requirements for crew change and production tasks, including night ambulance.

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