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Government approves Pawan Hans sale at ? 414¬crore valuation

Published: 7th May, 2022


The government recently approved the sale of its stake in Pawan Hans Limited along with transfer of management control to an entity called Star9 Mobility Pvt. Ltd.


What is Pawan Hans and why is it being sold?

  • Pawan Hans is a 51:49 joint venture between the government and state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd.
  • The domestic helicopter operator, which mainly serves ONGC’s offshore operations and operates a few UDAN flights to hilly and difficult terrains, has been making losses.

UDAN Scheme

  • ‘UDAN’ is short for ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’, and refers to an extensive regional connectivity scheme in India.
  • The UDAN scheme is aimed at providing affordable air travel on regional routes, while expanding networks and boosting connectivity.
  •  Under the scheme, the government in India is providing concessions and financial motivation for airlines to participate, with capped airfares that will be subsidised by the government.
  • In 2016, the government decided to disinvest its stake in Pawan Hans. One of the options that were explored was to allow ONGC to acquire the government’s stake in the company.
  • However, this option did not find traction and, in 2018, ONGC too decided to offer its entire shareholding to the successful bidder identified in the government’s strategic disinvestment transaction, on the same price and terms as the government.
  • This disinvestment is the second major sale from the government’s aviation portfolio in the last 12 months — Air India went to the Tata Group in January this year.
  • What is Star9 Mobility?

    • The winning bidder for Pawan Hans is Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd.
    • It is a three-way consortium between Big Charter Private Limited, Maharaja Aviation Private Limited, and Almas Global Opportunity Fund SPC.
    • These three entities own 26%, 25%, and 49% stake in Star9 Mobility respectively.

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