The salt to software conglomerate Tata Sons will be purchasing 32.67 per cent stake in AirAsia India from AirAsia Group Bhd.
The deal would be worth $37.66 million (approximately Rs 275 crore), AirAsia Group told Bursa Malaysia (Malaysian Stock Exchange). The JV is a 51:49 per cent partnership between TSL and AAIL respectively with a paid-up capital of Rs 1,500 crore.
With the move, the stake of Tata Sons in AirAsia India will surge to 83.67 per cent, while that of AirAsia group will come down to 16.33 per cent. As part of the transaction, there will be a Call Option in respect to AirAsia Group's remaining 16.33 per cent stake in AirAsia India, exercisable by Tata Sons at any time after the transaction is completed.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of March 2021, and if it does not happen by then, Tata Sons can call off the deal, as per the agreement.
The AirAsia Group said that the cash received as purchase consideration will be utilised as working capital in Q1 2021 -- a move that will infuse much-needed liquidity in the airline amid the Covid-19 blues.
"This Transaction will reduce the cash burn of the Company in the short term and allow AirAsia to concentrate on the recovery of its key ASEAN markets in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in the long run," AirAsia said, explaining the rationale behind the move.
The development coincides with the deadline to submit a physical bid for Air India. The deadline gets over on December 29. Industry sources said that the Tatas may use AirAsia India as the vehicle for Air India investment, and it was important to get approval from the Malaysian partner.