THE Lisbon government officially launched the privatization of at least 51% of the capital of the national airline TAP Air Portugalwhich arouses the interest of European airline groups Air France-KLM, Lufthansa Group and IAG (International Airlines Group).
Lisbon has defined several “strategic targets” such as the growth of TAP Air Portugal and an air route platform based in Portugal.”We are not seeking to attract purely financial investors who would like to enter TAP and then sell all or part of the company, and we wish to reaffirm TAP’s strategic contribution to the country.“, underlined Fernando Medina, the Portuguese Minister of Finance.
“The plan to sell a stake in the Portuguese company TAP is interesting for us“, has indicated Lufthansa Group in a declaration sent to theAFPemphasizing that the two companies “would complement each other very well, particularly thanks to TAP’s network of routes to and from South America“. In May, Lufthansa Group acquired 41% of ITA Airways, paving the way for further consolidation in European air transport.
“We now better understand the expectations and conditions set by the Portuguese government and we reiterate our keen interest in the privatization of TAP“, indicated for his part a spokesperson for‘Air France-KLMwho said he was impatiently waiting for the publication of the decree-law for more details on the procedure.
“We are always ready to welcome big companies and big brands into our portfolio. We want to see the conditions of the privatization of TAP, we think it could be interesting for us“, declared for his part Luis Gallego, the general director ofIAGwhich brings together airlines British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling. Last February, the group acquired Air Europa for 500 million euros from the Spanish company Globalia.
TAP Air Portugal, whose difficulties had increased with the Covid-19 pandemic, was completely renationalized urgently in 2020, benefiting from an injection of 3.2 billion euros of public funds accompanied by a restructuring plan negotiated with the European Commission. It generated a profit of 22.9 million in the first half of 2023, compared to a negative result of 202.1 million euros a year earlier.