New Delhi: The government has initiated the second step for disinvestment of Pawan Hans Limited (PHL), inviting expression of interest from the prospective bidders to sell its stake in the helicopter public sector undertaking (PSU).

Pawan Hans is a PSU under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and provides helicopter services for offshore operations, inter island transportation, connecting inaccessible areas, rescue work and tourism.

The Centre is planning to exit Pawan Hans by selling its 51 per cent stake along with the transfer of management control. The Expression of Interest (EoI) window is open till August 22.

Both the shareholders of PHL — the government and the ONGC will indemnify the contingent liabilities to the extent of over Rs5 billion for the potential buyers.

The renewed process had in fact gathered momentum with issuance of PIM (preliminary information memorandum) on July 11, 2019.

Now, the government proposes to disinvest its entire equity shareholding of 51 per cent in the PHL by way of strategic disinvestment to investor(s) along with transfer of management control.

The government has appointed SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAP) as its adviser to manage the strategic disinvestment process, DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management) said in a notice.

Shortlisted Bidders (SBs) shall be provided with Request for Proposal in Stage II and would be required to submit their Financial Bid, SBI Caps said. After an unsuccessful attempt for sale of Pawan Hans earlier this year, the government provided indemnity to the potential buyers against contingent liability of over Rs5 billion in the helicopter service company.