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Air India flies back to Tata Group after 7 decades

Conglomerate wins bid to buy troubled government airline it founded in 1930s

Air India has incurred losses since its 2007 merger with another state-owned domestic carrier, Indian Airlines, as it struggled to compete with private airlines.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Tata Sons, the holding company of India's largest conglomerate Tata Group, has won the bid for Air India, the government announced on Friday, bringing the drawn-out process to a close. The debt-ridden state-run airline returns to the group it was founded by after nearly seven decades of being nationalized.

Tata Sons -- through its wholly owned subsidiary Talace Private Limited -- had submitted the winning bid of 180 billion rupees ($2.4 billion) as the enterprise value of Air India, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the secretary in the government's Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, told a media briefing.

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