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Centre cancels Pawan Hans stake sale after disqualifying bidder

The Centre, specifically the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), has decided to postpone the strategic disinvestment of Pawan Hans Ltd. This decision comes after one of the members of the successful bidding consortium, Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd, was disqualified.
Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd is a consortium comprised of three companies: Maharaja Aviation, Big Charter, and Almas Global Opportunity Fund (AGOF).

The disqualification of Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd was a result of adverse orders received by AGOF from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). Additionally, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) filed a complaint against AGOF in a separate resolution case. Considering these circumstances, the Centre decided to annul the expression of interest (EoI) process for the strategic disinvestment of Pawan Hans.

The government thoroughly examined the adverse orders from NCLT and NCLAT, as well as the complaint filed by IBBI. Based on these factors and in accordance with the provisions of the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) and Request for Proposal (RFP), the government concluded that the adverse orders against a consortium member would disqualify the successful bidder. The successful bidder, Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd, was given an opportunity to respond to the disqualification through a show cause notice.

After considering the matter, the government, with the approval of the Alternative Mechanism (empowered by the cabinet committee on economic affairs), composed of the Minister of Transport & Highways, Minister of Finance, and Minister of Civil Aviation, decided to disqualify Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd from the strategic disinvestment process of Pawan Hans Ltd. Consequently, the current EoI process for the strategic disinvestment has been annulled.

It is worth noting that on April 29 of the previous year, the government had approved Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd, the highest bidder among the consortiums, consisting of Maharaja Aviation, Big Charter, and AGOF, for the sale of the government’s 100% equity shareholding in Pawan Hans for a sum of INR 211 crore.

 

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