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Air-India hives off maintenance into separate company



14th August 2005: Air-India (A-I) has hived off its maintenance division into a separate company, Air-India Engineering Services Ltd, and is willing to divest upto 49 per cent stake in the new company to a strategic partner. This is the third division that is being hived off into a different company, the earlier separated its transport division and floated a new company, Air-India Express.

"Our maintenance division is the strongest of the maintenance units among any airline in India and a spin-off would help in bringing in more value to the company",Air-India Chairman and Managing Director V Thulasidas said.

The new venture has already been registered with the Registrar of Companies, and the moving of the staff to the new company is currently underway. A-I will move its existing maintenance staff to the new company.The airline is also seeking an infusion of funds from strategic partners, with a promise to divest up to 49 per cent of the new companys equity stake.

"Talks are on, but nothing has been finalised. We will invite bids from private players and would shortlist a strategic partner, depending on the bids", he said.The maintenance division has a total of around 15,000 employees, with over 2,500 engineers and around 400 technicians and support staff. This is the third division that is being hived off, as the carrier had earlier separated its transport division in to Air-India Air Transport Services Ltd and had set up a new company, Air-India Express, a low-cost airline.

Meanwhile, talking on the proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO), Thulasidas said that the carrier has shortlisted six companies - DSP-Merrill Lynch, HSBC Securities, JM Morgan Stanley, SBI Capital, Kotak Financial Services and Enam with Citi Bank as advisors for the deal. A final name is expected to emerge by the end of this month, while the IPO would be on track, with the listing expected before the end of the year.



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