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Negotiations with potential airBaltic investors have begun 04.12.2011

Negotiations with potential Air Baltic Corporation (airBaltic) investors have begun, says Anrijs Matiss, Ministry of Transport secretary of state.

Matiss noted that the talks are going strictly about strategic investors only. The investor’s first and foremost task would be to provide development of both the flight network and passenger flow for the company. It is estimated that nearly 50% of airBaltic shares would remain in government hands.

Matiss also stated that investors are clearly interested and that the deal could be sealed by the beginning of the next year.

As previously reported, based on the right of first refusal on the 30th of November the Ministry of Transport has claimed the previously frozen capital shares. These shares were kept in Latvijas Krājbanka and belonged to an individual shareholder of Baltijas Aviācijas Sistēmas Company.

The government became the owner of 99.8% of shares of airBaltic by purchasing the 47.2% of shares of airBaltic stored in Krājbanka for 224 435 LVL of their nominal value.

According to the Ministry of Transport, shares were purchased to protect government interests in conformity with the decision made on the 29th of November.

Ministers studied the situation that formed in airBaltic after problems in Snoras and Latvijas Krājbanka began during a meeting, on Tuesday.

Based on the words of the secretary of state, Anrijs Matiss, the government received no guaranties that BAS would be able to continue their duties in increasing the airline company’s capital.

Latvian state has already invested 16 million LVL in airBaltic capital, plus 14 million were invested by the private shareholder, meaning BAS. Furthermore, by contractual obligations the state must invest 41.6 million LVL and BAS has to invest 37 million LVL more by the 15th of December.

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