“We were informed (by transaction advisor Ernst and Young LLP India) on Sunday that we did not make it,” Mallik told TOI on Monday. AI founder Tatas are seen as most likely to re-acquire it, being the only financially strong player in the fray.
New York-based Interups Inc had withdrawn for AI bid earlier and now as EY examines the “multiple expressions of interest (EoI)” for the airline, the race is narrowing. The government wants to complete the process next fiscal. Neither SpiceJet nor promoter Ajay Singh have so far commented on their AI bid, which is learnt to have been made by Singh in his individual capacity in partnership with some others.
Meanwhile, Mallik wrote to the about 200 employees who had submitted an EOI for AI on Monday saying: “I have seen an email from EY, informing the employees of AI that we have been unsuccessful in qualifying to the next phase of the ‘disinvestment acquisition process’…. While I write to you with a heavy heart on the outcome of our bid to acquire AI, I cannot help but be filled with a great sense of pride and admiration for the sincerest efforts we have made over the last few months, together.”
The EY mail to Mallik-led employees’ consortia says: “The EOI and supporting documents submitted by you have been duly evaluated and have been found to not fulfil the eligibility requirements set out in the preliminary information memorandum issued in respect of the strategic disinvestment of AI and is liable for disqualification (due to) non-submission of required three years audited financial statements for foreign consortium member; non-submission of information or details; foreign consortium member not being an appropriately regulated foreign investment fund as defined in the PIM. Accordingly, we hereby inform you that, you have been disqualified from proceeding to stage II of the strategic disinvestment of AI.”