The government has put on hold the sale of Pawan Hans as it is legally examining an NCLT order against Almas Global, which is the biggest shareholder in the winning consortium, an official said on Monday.
Last month, the government selected M/s Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd, a consortium of M/s Big Charter Private Ltd, M/s Maharaja Aviation Private Ltd and M/s Almas Global Opportunity Fund SPC, as the winning bidder for Pawan Hans.
While Big Charter and Maharaja Aviation own 26 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) M/s Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd, Almas Global Opportunity Fund SPC holds 49 per cent.
The official said the letter of award to the winning consortium has not been issued as legal views are being taken.
"We will do a legal examination of the NCLT order before proceeding further. Letter of Award has not been issued," the official said.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had last month passed an order reportedly after Almas Global failed to make payments to creditors of a Kolkata-based company under an approved resolution plan.
This is the second strategic disinvestment that has run into rough weather. Earlier, the sale of Central Electronics Ltd (CEL) too was stalled on account of certain allegations against the winning bidder.
The government had in November last year approved the highest price bid of Rs 210 crore by Delhi-based Nandal Finance and Leasing Pvt Ltd for the sale of 100 per cent equity shareholding of the government in CEL - a CPSE under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).
"The Letter of Intent (LoI) has not been issued to the successful bidder and put
on hold pending examination of specific allegation regarding the bidder," Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad had informed Parliament in February.
Pawan Hans is a 51:49 joint venture of the government and ONGC.
The government had in December last year received three bids for the Pawan Hans sale.
Star9 Mobility had quoted Rs 211.14 crore for Pawan Hans, which was above the Reserve Price of Rs 199.92 crore fixed by the government on the basis of valuation carried out by the transaction adviser and asset valuer.
The other two bids were for Rs 181.05 crore and Rs 153.15 crore.