Department of Investment and Public Asset Management.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Jan 27 : Disinvestment department DIPAM has put in stringent disqualification norms in the Expression of Interest for the stake sale in Air India that was out on Monday for the bidders while relaxing the criteria for bidding on debt and eligibility to make it an attractive proposition for them to buy the airline.

The disqualification criteria put forth by the EoI include the proviso that "If at any stage of the process, the IB or Interested Bidders is denied security clearance or their security clearance is revoked by the GOI, it is a criteria for non-eligibility.

The bid would also be disqualified if the loans availed by the IB (sole bidder or any member of the consortium, as applicable), including by its controlling shareholder (s)/partners (in case the IB or affiliate includes a LLP) and/or entities controlled by the IBs and/or affiliate (only in case IB is taking benefit of financial strength of such Affiliate) have been classified as a 'non-performing asset' or such similar classification by any of their lenders.

If the bidder's key managerial persons/equivalent are convicted by any court of law, indicted, or have any adverse order passed against them by a regulatory authority which would cast doubt on its ability to manage the companies when it is disinvested or which relates to a grave offence that outrages the moral sense of the community, then also it would mean outright disqualification.

IBs also shall not have any conflict of interest that affects the bid process, the EoI says.

Another important criteria is the prospective bidder should not be in the Reserve Bank of India's list of wilful defaulters or any such list by a competent authority in their respective jurisdiction.

The government on Monday announced the sale of 100 per cent stake in debt-laden Air India as it issued the preliminary bid document and has set March 17 as the deadline for submitting an expression of interest.

As part of the strategic disinvestment, Air India would also sell 100 per cent stake in low-cost airline Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in joint venture AISATS, as per bid document issued on Monday.

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