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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 08.02.2023, 16:13

Three potential airBaltic investors being evaluated at the moment

BC, Riga, 01.11.2017.Print version
The process of attracting investors for the Latvian national airline airBaltic is nearing the finish line, and three potential candidates are being evaluated at the moment, Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers) told Latvian Television this morning, cites LETA.

He says that the international financial consultancy firm Lazard Freres has been actively searching for potential investors for the past two years, and that this process is ''nearing the finish line'' at the moment. Augulis said that three potential investors are currently being evaluated at the moment, and that the government should make a final decision by the end of the year.

According to Augulis, the offers which have been made are good and interesting, which will benefit the development of the national economy. He did not reveal from which specific countries these potential investors are from, but added that they are from ''all over the world''.


He said that the government's main criteria in selecting an investor is the airline's continued development, maintaining Riga Airport as its main base, as well as continuing to develop its network of destinations and fleet.


The transport minister also pointed out that there is no rush in selling airBaltic, and that if the government is not satisfied with the candidates then the search process will continue.


As reported, the Transport Ministry is currently analyzing concrete proposals made by potential investors of Latvia’s national carrier airBaltic and is not ruling out the airline’s full privatization.


In May last year, airBaltic share capital was increased to EUR 256.473 million. According to an agreement signed by the Latvian government and German investor Ralf Montag Girmes, the investor made an investment worth EUR 52 million in airBaltic, while the state invested EUR 80 million, capitalizing the loan from the Treasury. As a result, the Latvian state held 80 percent shares in airBaltic and Montag Girmes had 20 percent through company Aircraft Leasing 1.


In April this year, Danish businessman Lars Thuesen became the sole owner of Aircraft Leasing 1, thus becoming an indirect holder of a 20 percent stake in airBaltic.


Horizon 2021, the business plan of Latvian national carrier airBaltic, provides for attraction of additional capital worth EUR 50 million, but the airline will not request further investments from the state.


The Latvian government has resolved to find a strategic investor by the end of 2017. International financial consultancy Lazard Freres has been hired to look for the investor.


Talks on attraction of a strategic investor to Latvian national airline airBaltic will be held by the end of this year, said Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis earlier.


airBaltic serves around 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia.

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