Pawan Hans’ strategic sale attempt anew for 3rd time

The government holds 51% stake in Pawan Hans, which has a fleet of 43 helicopters also the remaining 49% is with oil and gas behemoth ONGC

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Pawan Hans

Mumbai: Making another attempt to exit from the chopper operations business, the government on Thursday issued a fresh bid document for strategic disinvestment in Pawan Hans, offering the company to bidders having a minimum net worth of Rs 350 crore.

The government holds 51% stake in Pawan Hans, which has a fleet of 43 helicopters. The remaining 49% is with oil and gas behemoth Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

“The GOI acting has ‘in-principle’ decided to disinvestment its entire equity shareholding of 51% in Pawan Hans Ltd (PHL) by way of strategic disinvestment to investor(s) along with transfer of management control… In addition to the above, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has also decided, that it shall sell its entire shareholding of 49% in Pawan Hans Ltd, at the same derived price per share and on the same terms and conditions…” as per the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM).

This is the third time in last 16 months, the government has sought to attract a buyer for Pawan Hans, which is estimated to have posted the loss to the tune of Rs 72.42 crore in the previous fiscal.

The last date for submission of Expression of Interest (EoI) is 22 August 2019, and intimation to the short-listed bidder is 12 September.

The government has appointed SBICap as its advisor to advise and manage the strategic disinvestment of PHL (“Proposed Transaction”).

According to the 122-page PIM, the bidder should have a minimum net worth of Rs 350 crore. In the earlier bid document, this amount stood at Rs 500 crore.

In the case of the consortium also, the combined net worth of all the members of the consortium should be Rs 350 crore, the Preliminary Information Memorandum document stated.

For entities which are Air Transport Service Operators (ATSOs) and hold up to 51% equity share capital of the consortium, the net worth limit and profitability will not be applicable.