New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The Centre on Friday announced that the Tata Sons has won the bid to acquire national carrier Air India for Rs 18,000 crore. The Tata Sons defeated SpiceJet promoter to bag Air India. With this, Air India has returned to its founder after 68 years. 

"Talace Pvt Ltd of Tata Sons is the winning bidder at Rs 18,000 crores. The transaction is expected to close by the end of December 2021," Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) secretary Tuhin Kant Pandey was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"The total debt on Air India as of 31 August 2021 is Rs 61,562 crores. The debt which will be taken by the successful bidder will be Rs 15,300 crores. Debt position after debt taken over by the successful bidder will remain Rs 46,262 crores," he added.

Pandey also said that a group of ministers comprising Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has cleared the winning bid for Air India on October 4.

Meanwhile, Ratan Tata tweeted "welcome back Air India" and said that the Tata Sons will take considerable steps to rebuild the national carrier. Tata said he is hopeful that the Tata Sons will provide a "very strong" market opportunity to the group's presence in the aviation industry.

"The Tata Group winning the bid for Air India is great news! While admittedly it will take considerable effort to rebuild Air India, it will hopefully provide a very strong market opportunity to the Tata group's presence in the aviation industry," he said.

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (JRD) Tata founded the airline in 1932. It was called Tata Airlines then. In 1946, the aviation division of Tata Sons was listed as Air India and in 1948, Air India International was launched with flights to Europe.

The international service was among the first public-private partnerships in India, with the government holding 49 per cent, the Tatas keeping 25 per cent and the public owning the rest.

In 1953, Air India was nationalised.

The government is selling 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India's 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma