Portuguese government announces privatisation of flagship airline TAP – Air Portugal

3 August 2012

Stake-holding company TAP, SGPS, which controls Portuguese flagship airline TAP – Air Portugal, will be privatised by the Portuguese State, according to a decision announced Thursday in Lisbon at the end of a Council of Ministers meeting.

The statement issued at the end of the meeting said that the government had decided to sell off the SGPS itself, applying an “integrated sales strategy, which is considered to be especially appropriate to ensure a maximisation of TAP’s value.”

However, the result of this operation, which the government intends to conclude by the end of the year, will involve only a tiny amount of revenue given that the TAP group has debts of 1.2 billion euros.

The sale will be carried out in two phases, the first of which will be one or more capital increases of TAP, SGPS, “to be taken up by one or more investors, as well as by the sale of shares representing TAP,SGPS’s share capital to one or more investors.”

The second phase, which will be reserved for TAP staff, will be carried out through a public offering of shares in the group.

The government said that both operations, “may be totally or partially carried out, once or more, simultaneously,” or at different times.

The operation is expected to be carried out alongside the sale of state airport manager Aeroportos de Portugal (ANA). Interest in the privatisation of TAP –Air Portugal has been shown by groups such as IAG, which controls British Airways and Iberia, Colombia’s Avianca, Latam, which is the result of a merger between Brazil’s TAM and Chile’s LAN, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airways.

The two privatisations are the responsibility of the secretaries of state for Public Works, Sérgio Monteiro and the Treasury, Maria Luís Albuquerque and consultant António Borges. The financial advisors for the operations are Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Barclays and Espírito Santo de Investimento. (macauhub)