The government on Friday approved the sale of its stake in Pawan Hans Limited along with the transfer of management control to a company called Star9 Mobility Pvt. ltd at a price of ₹211.14 crore, which puts the total value of the company at ₹414 crore.
The government had previously attempted to sell Pawan Hans three times after the Cabinet Economic Committee approved the sale of his 51 percent stake in the company in late 2016. The process for the present transaction was initiated in December 2020 with expressions of interest invited by bidders.
The successful bidder, Star9 Mobility, is a consortium of Big Charter Private Limited, Maharaja Aviation Private Limited and Almas Global Opportunity Fund SPC, the Treasury Department said.
“With this privatization, the strategic buyer is expected to revitalize the company by replacing the aging fleet with the injection of fresh capital and improving the company’s performance,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that an award letter was issued will be issued shortly followed by the signing of the share purchase agreement to complete the transaction
Pawan Hans, a joint venture between the central government and ONGC that owns 49% of the company, provides helicopter and air mobility services and has suffered losses for three consecutive financial years from 2018-19 to 2020-21. Pawan Hans has a fleet of 42 helicopters, 41 of which are company-owned and have an average age of over 20 years.
The alternative mechanism, authorized by the Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee, consisting of Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, approved the sale to the company that made the highest bid among the three financial offers received had .
ONGC had previously decided to offer its entire equity interest to the successful bidder identified in the strategic divestment transaction on the same terms and price. This would result in a revenue of ₹202.86 crore for the oil major.
The government had set the minimum price for the sale of their stake in Pawan Hans at £199.92 million. The other two bids received were £181.05bn and £153.15bn, below the reserve price.