Thursday, 20 December 2012

Portugal Postpones TAP Airline Sale

Portugal said on Thursday it would postpone its long-awaited sale of debt-laden airline TAP after rejecting the sole bid by Colombian-Brazilian entrepreneur German Efromovich, but it still plans to beat its asset disposal target.
The TAP sale formed part of a privatisation plan required by Portugal's EUR€78 billion (USD$103 billion) European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout.
However, Efromovich's offer for the flag carrier, which is weighed down by an estimated EUR€1.2 billion of debt, would have only reaped EUR€35 million for the state coffers.
"This decision does not compromise the government's privatisation programme, which is still expected to surpass the target in terms of proceeds," Treasury Secretary Maria Luis Albuquerque told a briefing.
The TAP sale would be relaunched "at an opportune moment", she said.

The government had previously set a target to earn over EUR€5 billion from the proceeds of asset sales.
It is still in the process of choosing the winning bid for airport operator ANA, which could raise EUR€3 billion, with a decision expected by the end of December.
Albuquerque said Efromovich's offer, made via his Synergy investment company, had failed to produce guarantees it had sufficient funds to buy the airline and invest in its growth.
Through Synergy, Efromovich controls AviancaTaca - one of Latin America's leading commercial carriers with more than 100 routes in 14 countries.


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