Portuguese government announces sale of 66 pct of state airline TAP-Air Portugal

14 November 2014

The Portuguese government will sell 66 percent of flagship airline TAP-Air Portugal, with 34 percent remaining in the hands of the state for at least two years, according to the decision approved Thursday by the Council of Ministers.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Sérgio Monteiro, said after the meeting that as well as the airline all the group’s assets would be sold, including, for example, the maintenance business it owns in Brazil (the former VEM), which had been bought in partnership with Macau businessman Stanley Ho.

The State, he said would, “reserve an option to sell the 34 percent, which it may exercise within two years,” in the sales contract and provided that the requirements in the specifications – which have yet to be approved by the Council of Ministers – are met,” said Sérgio Monteiro.

According to Portuguese daily newspaper Público interested parties include Spanish company Globalia, a consortium that includes Portuguese entrepreneur Miguel Pais do Amaral, the former owner and president of Continental Airlines, Frank Lorenzo and Portuguese transport group Barraqueiro.

There were also expressions of interest from Brazilian company Azul, and German Efromovich, who presented the only bid for the airline when the government first attempted to sell TAP-Air Portugal.

The TAP-Air Portugal group currently has liabilities of approximately 1 billion euros. (macauhub/TAP)