Multiple potential investors could start a due diligence review in Latvian national airline airBaltic, says Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis.
He says the Cabinet of Ministers has been informed about the progress with attraction of a new strategic investor for the airline. In total, more than 40 potential investors from all over the worlds have been reached out to. The process is planned to be finished this year.
According to him, talks continue with many potential investors, some of them plan to commence a due diligence review at the airline.
When asked if there was a potential investor from Russia, Augulis said no.
At the same time, he confirmed that the country still wished to retain 50% plus one share in the company. It is also planned to keep Riga International Airport as airBaltic’s main base.
Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, says the process is going well and on schedule.
He also said the airline could realize its fleet modernization plans without an investor. Gauss also says the airline has plans to replace its currently used turboprop aircraft.
airBaltic’s business plan Horizon 2021 includes attraction of additional capital worth EUR 50 million to secure funding for the replacement of its current fleet and continue improving the airline’s capital structure. The airline states it has no plans to turn to the state for funding.
Latvian government has made it a priority to find a strategic investor for airBaltic before the end of 2017.
Last year, airBaltic finished increasing is base capital to EUR 256.47 million. In accordance with the agreement signed between the Latvian state and German investor Ralf Dieter Montag-Girmes, the investor invested approximately EUR 52 million into the airline at the end of March 2016. The state invested EUR 80 million with airBaltic capitalizing the loan from the State Treasury. (BNN/Business World Magazine)