Sahara’s Bid to Lease Air India- HQ Rejected: Reveal AI

Air India slapped Sahara India by casting away its bid. Air India rejected the bid of Sahara on the basis that the real estate firm placed its bid for longer period.

Sahara India had placed its bid for Air India’s landmark headquarters at Nariman Point, Mumbai. Though debt- ridden Air India has plans to lease or monetize its real estate assets to cut off its debts, the national carriers do not wish to lease out the property for longer periods. Air India plans to lease out nearly 20 floors of HQ building at Nariman Point. The national carries will keep the top three floors for its office purposes.

By leasing out 16 lakh sq. ft. in the tower, Air India expects to generate around Rs.50 Cr yearly. Sahara group drew near to Air India with its plan. The Lucknow based firm plans to lease out whole area for nearly 30 years. The close sources to Air India revealed that Air India did not accept the Sahara bid which demanded nearly 3 decades to be leased.

Air India said that it did not wish to lease out the HQ building for longer periods as this. It thinks to lease out the Nariman Point building for comparatively a shorter period. However Sahara did not reveal the purpose behind their bid for lease.

Air India fears that leasing the entire building to one firm may lose their naming rights as it happened to Sears Tower. Willis Group Holdings by leasing out a majority of Sears Tower, received naming rights for the building and the tallest building of US was renamed Willis Tower. Air India is afraid of this.

According to a senior Air India officer, Sahara India might have raised the bid for running a hotel. He said that the bid for 30 years cannot be accepted as the national carriers plan to lease out the building only for maximum period of 5 years. However it is said that Air India is rethinking over this period of lease as many real estate investors have conveyed their discomfort with the shorter period of lease.

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