Ruia Group, Air Indias, Falcon

Ruia group’s bid for Air India: assets of Dunlop, Jessop not part net worth

Kolkata-based Ruia Group, which has submitted an expression of interest (EoI) to buy Air Indias 100% stake, remained upbeat that the company will face no hurdle in meeting the net worth criteria of Rs 3,500 crore, sources aware of the development said on Thursday.
The assets of Dunlop, Falcon and Jessop, which the group had earlier taken over, are not part of the net worth furnished for the EoI for Air India, sources said.
The company is now competing with Tata Group and Air India Employee Consortium for buying the loss-making national carrier.
Pawan Ruia, the previous chairman of the group, was known as a turnaround specialist for financially stressed companies that he took over and made them profitable within a short span. The names include Dunlop India, Falcon Tyres, and Jessop & Company.
Ruia made the surprise bid for Air India at a time when the group is marred with debt demands by banks and court cases following its takeovers of these three companies.
Pawan Ruia’s son Raghav Ruia is now the chairman of the group which may rope in a strategic partner for capital requirements, if qualified in the technical round, sources said. The West Bengal government had announced the takeover of Dunlop and Jessop in 2016 but it still awaits clearance from the President.
The government is selling its entire 100% stake in Air India that has been in losses ever since its 2007 merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines.
The airline, which started as a mail carrier in 1932, will give a successful bidder control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, as well as 900 slots at airports overseas.
Besides, the bidder would also get 100%of the low-cost arm Air India Express and 50% of AISATS, which provides cargo and ground handling services at major Indian airports.