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Bertolt Flick purchased a 47.2% stake in airBaltic

Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 31.01.2009.Print version
The Executive Director of the national airline airBaltic, Bertolt Flick has purchased a 47.2% stake in the airline from Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), as SAS said in a statement on January 30.

Bertolt Flick.

As LETA was informed by the vice-president of airBaltic's corporate communications Janis Vanags, Flick purchased 47.2 of shares in airBaltic for LVL 14 million.


The Latvian government owns 52.6% of shares in the airline, whilst SAS previously owned 47.2% of airBaltic.


As SAS informs, it has already been paid for the shares, however, the exact sum of the deal has not been revealed.


airBaltic Vice President Janis Vanags told LETA that airBaltic would issue an official statement on the deal next week.


As reported, the Latvian government decided not to take advantage of its pre-emptive rights to purchase the airBaltic shares previously owned by SAS.


Transport Minister Ainars Slesers (Latvia's First Party/Latvia's Way) explained to media at the time that LVL 47 million would be necessary to buy the 47.2% of airBaltic shares; the actual cost of the shares is LVL 14 million, but the rest of the sum would be needed to pay back loans from intermediary companies. Slesers expressed regret that the state cannot take over full control of the airline airBaltic due to the government's lack of resources.


LETA also reported, in mid-August of last year SAS announced that it intends to sell its stake in airBaltic.


The decision of SAS to sell its shares was influenced by the fact that the government of Latvia declined offers for privatization of airBaltic.


Slesers had previously underlined that he would not support airBaltic's privatization as eventually it would not be in Latvia's interest. Slesers also said that the airline's development is very successful at the moment.


Last year, airBaltic carried 2.6 million passengers, which is 29% more than in the year 2007, when the total number of passengers was 2,007,150.

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