Interups, the US-based fund, has backed out from submitting a bid for Air India citing legal complications.
Laxmi Prasad, founder of Interups, confirmed the decision to BusinessLine. He explained that when he had electronically submitted an expression of interest, he had offered 51 per cent stake to the employees.
However, “there is one more EoI placed by a group of employees. Filing a separate bid with a common affiliation will bring legal conflict and there is a possibility of both bids being ejected as disqualified. To keep the employees bid surviving, we have hence chosen to not to submit but we shall extend the same offer and financial participation that we otherwise were willing,” he said. On December 14, two other potential bidders — Tata Sons, a consortium of Air India employees led by Meenakshi Malik, the airline’s Director, Commercial — besides Interups had submitted an EoI, electronically.
In a LinkedIn post, Prasad had said: “We have committed in our EOI that we will be spending substantial money over the next 5 years in Aviation and we will ensure to see Air India gain its slot and position. We will soon be hosting a virtual meeting inviting all to join this deep effort we are pursuing in nation’s interest – Let us turn Air India fly high!”
He had plans to resurrect the airline within five years. According to Prasad, his bid was supposed to “surprise everyone.” Now, after withdrawing his bid, Prasad said that he is still willing to support the employees in their bid and offer them 51 per cent.