SBI Caps to be advisor for Pawan Hans stake sale

New Delhi: The government has roped in SBI Caps as an advisor for the proposed disinvestment of Pawan Hans, which is expected to be completed by end of March 2018.

Besides SBI Caps, two other entities for valuation and legal purposes have been selected, sources said. The helicopter services operator is a joint venture where the central government holds 51 per cent stake and the remaining is with state-owned ONGC.

Moving ahead with the disinvestment plans for the profit-making company, the government has appointed SBI Capital Markets (SBI Caps) as transaction advisor and it would also prepare the bidding documents, sources said.

SBI Caps, an investment banking entity, is expected to ready the documents in the next couple of months as efforts are on to complete the whole disinvestment process by end of next fiscal (2017-18), they added.

Sources said Ahmedabad-based RBSA would be the asset valuer while Mumbai-based Crawford Baylay & Co would look after the legal aspects during the disinvestment process.

Pawan Hans employees' union has expressed concerns over the Centre's decision to offload government's entire 51 per cent stake in the company. To flag their concerns with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), union representatives have sought another meeting with top officials there, sources said. A delegation of Pawan Hans employees had met officials at the PMO in February.

The All India Civil Aviation Employees' Union -- a grouping of Pawan Hans staff -- has suggested that the company should be allowed to list rather than go for disinvestment.

In a letter dated March 31, addressed to Nripendra Mishra, Principal Secretary at the PMO, the union said that Pawan Hans should be given time to grow and implement its business plan and be allowed to "go for Initial Public Offer plan for fund raising from the market".

The government, in January, said it would sell its entire 51 per cent stake and transfer the management control of Pawan Hans while seeking applications from entities to act as transaction advisor for the proposed disinvestment.

Pawan Hans, which comes under the administrative control of the Civil Aviation Ministry, had reported an operating profit of Rs 61.6 crore in 2015-16. The company has more than 900 employees and around half of them are on permanent roll.

As per its website, Pawan Hans has now evolved into South Asia's largest helicopter company that maintains and operates a fleet of over 50 helicopters. The company provides various services, including for offshore and charter operations.  

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