Airport, Financial Services, Latvia, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 04.07.2020, 13:57

Bertolt Flick ready to consider buying state shares in airBaltic

Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 28.09.2010.Print version
Owner and president of the airBaltic airline Bertolt Flick is ready to consider buying the entire state shareholding in the airline, according to a statement made by the businessman to Nozare.lv.

Bertolt Flick.

"Let us put it like this – yes, if it was possible to finance this, then it would be possible to look at it," said Flick when asked whether he would be ready to purchase the state's 52.6% controlling interest in the airline. Flick is the currently the second largest shareholder through his company Baltijas aviacijas sistemas (BAS).

 

However, he feels that the most important thing at the moment is to define the airline's strategy, as well as that of the state, for the next three to five years. In Flick's view, the discussions which arose last week over the plans of BAS to create a new airline in Lithuania have again made clear the necessity to speak of the role of airBaltic as a strategically important company in the development of Latvia itself, writes LETA.

 

At the same time, the airline's president indicates that these are long-term questions that are not decided three days before a general election, but rather later, when a new government has been formed and professionals are ready to sit behind the table and decide on the best way to move forward. "This is not a matter that should be assessed and decided on this week; that is definitely not possible," believes Flick.

 

As reported, Flick reported recently that he is not currently planning to sell his shares in airBaltic, but revealed that if the airline was registered on the stock exchange and sold there through auction, BAS would be happy to wave its right of first refusal on the state's share packet.

 

LETA previously reported that the Chinese company Hainan Airlines has also expressed an interest in acquiring the state's shareholding in airBaltic. According to the TV3 show "Nothing Personal" ("Neka personiga"), there is a good chance the airline will change hands following the elections.

 

At the same time, several investment banking experts expressed the opinion to "Nozare.lv" that the state should consider selling its stake in airBaltic, although this is not the most favorable economic climate for selling off assets.

 

At present the state owns 52.6% of airBaltic, while 47.2% belongs to BAS. Flick's company purchased its stake at the beginning of 2009 from SAS, paying LVL 14 million.






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