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Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, Ankur Bhatia not involved in Air India bid

The Ras Al Khaimah government has clarified that it is aware of a story circulating in the international and local media suggesting its involvement in a potential transaction relating to Air India, and has denied it. (Alamy)Premium
The Ras Al Khaimah government has clarified that it is aware of a story circulating in the international and local media suggesting its involvement in a potential transaction relating to Air India, and has denied it. (Alamy)

  • The Ras Al Khaimah government or any of its related entities or authorities are not in any way connected to the bidding process relating to Air India, a spokesperson has said
  • A Bird Group spokesperson said promoter Ankur Bhatia is not involved in the bidding as an individual on with a consortium

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority and Bird Group promoter Ankur Bhatia are not involved in the bidding process for the national carrier Air India Limited along with SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh, spokespersons for Ras Al Khaimah government and Bird Group told Mint on Wednesday.

“The Ras Al Khaimah government is aware of a story circulating in the international and local media of a potential transaction relating to Air India, the national air carrier of India, with the reports citing that one of the parties involved is a Ras Al Khaimah government institution," a spokesperson for the emirate said.

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"Neither the Ras Al Khaimah government nor any of its related entities or authorities are in any way connected to any such potential transaction relating to Air India," the spokesperson added.

A Bird Group spokesperson said that promoter Ankur Bhatia is not involved in placing a bid for the national carrier, either individually or with any consortium.

Earlier, various media reports stated that SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh, along with a consortium consisting of Bird Group's Ankur Bhatia and Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority had placed a bid for Air India. Ajay Singh didn't offer comments.

As things stand, shortlisted bidders for national carrier Air India Limited will have to submit their offer in the next two months as the government hopes to conclude 100% divestment in the airline.

Mint had on 5 April reported that Tata Sons Ltd, the front-runner to buy state-run Air India Ltd, and the government are close to sealing the terms of the purchase, having managed to narrow their differences on the three key sticking points of pension liabilities, real estate assets and debt.

Final talks between both parties are under way, and a financial bid will be submitted by the Tata group as early as this month.

The government is keen to sell Air India, which has been surviving on government bailout. The airline has failed to turn in an annual profit since it was merged with state-run Indian Airlines in 2007. The Tata Group, which already owns AirAsia India and Vistara, hopes the purchase of Air India will give it access to lucrative airport slots in India and abroad and a large fleet of aircraft.

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