Pawan Hans privatization: The process is now in the final stages, says DIPAM secretary

The Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said on Friday that the process of strategic sale of Pawan Hans has now reached the final stage.

“Financial Bids for Pawan Hans Limited Disinvestment received by Transaction Advisor. Process now moves to final stage,” DIPAM Secretary posted on Twitter.

Earlier, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation General (Dr) VK Singh has said that the Center has invited financial bids from the shortlisted bidders, adding that the process of strategic disinvestment of PHL will be followed. Completion “depends on” the success of the bid.

The Center holds 51 per cent stake while Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) holds the remaining 49 per cent stake in the helicopter service provider.

NITI Aayog, in its recommendations on Strategic Disinvestment of Central Public Sector Undertakings, recommended the sale of state-owned shares of Pawan Hans Limited through outright sale to an identified buyer through a two-stage auction process. Accordingly, the Center had given in-principle approval for disinvestment of the entire shareholding of the company. After evaluation of the technical bids received, the bidders are shortlisted.

In 2018, the government had invited bids to sell its stake in Pawan Hans. However, ONGC withdrew the process after it decided to sell its 49 per cent stake in the company with the government. In 2019, a second attempt was made to sell the company, but it failed to elicit a response from investors.

Although in February earlier this year, the company received several initial bids for its privatization process, the disinvestment process was stalled due to the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in India.

Established in 1985, Pawan Hans has a fleet of over 40 helicopters and around 900 personnel, of which 450 are on permanent roles.

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