Tata Sons said to be selected as winning bidder for Air India: Report

India’s Tata Sons has been selected as the winning bidder for the debt-laden state-run airline Air India, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

A panel of ministers accepted a proposal from officials recommending the salt-to-software conglomerate ahead of an offer from Ajay Singh, promoter of India’s airline operator Spicejet Ltd, the report said.

A spokesperson for Tata Sons declined to comment. A finance ministry spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters message seeking comment, while Air India declined to comment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been pushing to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, kept aloft by a bailout since 2012.

The government loses nearly 200 million rupees every day to run the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of over 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials have said.

An effort to auction a majority stake almost three years ago drew no bids, forcing the government to ease the terms. It had also extended the deadline multiple times due to the pandemic.

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