Our bid for Air India will surprise everyone: Interups

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on December 15, 2020

The Tatas are not a competition to us, says fund’s chief

For the US-based fund Interups, the Tata Group is not a competition when it comes to bidding for Air India.

“The Tatas are not a competition to us. Our bid will surprise everyone,” Laxmi Prasad, Chairman of Interups told BusinessLine, adding that he plans to pump in a “substantial amount” in the debt-strapped Air India for the next five years.

Prasad said that he has placed the bid for Air India through a sister concern of Interups to meet with the turnover requirements of the bidding process. “In our EoI, we have mentioned that we will be placing a bid through this company, as Interups’ turnover isn’t sufficient,” Prasad said.

The group helps NRIs based in the US plan their retirement which gets them a tax exemption of up to 20-30 per cent. The company has over 27,600 accounts and $1.8 to $1.96 billion worth investments which are further invested in different sectors.

“Currently, we have investments in the hospitality, infrastructure, and the aviation sector in India. We used to also invest in gold earlier, however, with the prices falling, we are investing in other sectors as well,” he said.

‘Not our first bid’

When asked what about Air India that motivated him to place an EoI, he said: “We have a robust plan. For us, Air India is just one part in our plan. Air India is not the first stressed Indian airline we have invested in. We have already extended a hand to another airline.”

He added: “It has a good valuation, and some really good assets. We think there is a huge scope for us to be able to turn this company around.”

In a LinkedIn post, Prasad said: “We have committed in our EOI that we will be spending substantial money over the next five years in aviation and we will ensure to see Air India gains 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!”

Interups has offered 51 per cent of a stake to the employees and management. “This comes with no investment expectation. Employees’ experience will be our backbone to run the airline as is and we are extending this 51 per cent economic stake in the carrier in exchange of the deep intangible contribution you all would be making for the airline.”

Published on December 15, 2020

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