Portuguese government to partially privatise TAP – Air Portugal group

28 February 2011

Lisbon, Portugal, 28 Feb – Latam Airlines, the air carrier that resulted from the merger of Brazilian airline TAM and Chile’s Lam Airlines, is negotiating the acquisition of a stake in TAP – Air Portugal, Portuguese weekly newspaper Sol reported.

According to the paper, Latam Airlines will take a stake of 39 percent in the TAP group but the final stake, negotiations for which are expected to be concluded by next May, may total 49 percent.

The end of May date is due to the deadline set by the Portuguese Competition Authority for the TAP group to sell Groundforce, the handling company that has been posting successive losses.

The chief executive of Groundforce, Fernando Melo, has already announced there are several parties interested in acquiring the company, after which the Portuguese government will move ahead with the partial privatisation of the TAP group.

Sol also said that German airline Lufthansa had already contacted the TAP group to find out details of the deal, as it is interested in the Brazilian market and TAP – Air Portugal is the airline with the biggest number of links between Brazil and Europe. (macauhub)