A group of Air India employees is planning to bid for the Maharaja

NEW DELHI: A group of Air India (AI) employees is planning to bid for the divestment-bound Maharaja. With collective debt-cum-liabilities of over Rs 90,000 crore, they are trying to rope in a financial partner for the venture. According to their plan, the group of employees — each of whom will need to contribute up to Rs 1 lakh — will own 51% and the investor the remaining 49%.The Tata Group, which founded AI, is seen as the most likely bidder for the airline. The deadline for placing bids is December 14 and qualified bidders will be intimated by December 28, unless the timeline is extended again due to the pandemic.“Financially, I know that we do not have the necessary wherewithal to participate in this bid process alone. We have accordingly sought a private equity fund that will invest in the company. Employees will own and control 51% and the financial partner the balance 49%,” an internal note circulated among the group of employees mulling this bid says. “Until we cross expression of interest stage, no money is needed to be collected from employees… after successfully completing stage 1, we are planning our bid in such a way that no single employee will have to contribute more than Rs 1 lakh,” the note says.
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