Portugal has taken its commitment to Europe very seriously, the rescue programme representing €78bn. So after the selling of the state-owned companies EdP and REN to the Chinese companies Three Gorges and State Grid, it is the turn of the Portuguese flag carrier TAP. All the signs are that, if no unexpected events meddle the deal, the next TPA’s owner will be the British-Spanish airline IAG.
According to the digital daily CapitalMadrid
“the privatisation process remains unresolved since more than ten years ago, with Swissair, Sabena and Air France as a failed candidates”, but the fact is that nowadays “the only international airline that makes public its interest on TAP is Iberia and British Airways’s Group IAG, which has been preparing the operation for months with JP Morgan assessment.”
“TAP is one of this business opportunities that opens only once in a lifetime”, said IAG’s CEO, Willie Walsh, who takes into consideration mainly the Brazilian market.
TAP offers 74 weekly flights to Brazil and carries almost one million and a half passengers yearly, holding a leading share market of near 30%, over the new airline Tam/Lan (23%), Air France (13%), Iberia (10%) and Lufthansa (6%).
According to analysts, TAP price will be around € 1bn (its debt exceeds €1.2bn). The only condition imposed by the Portuguese government to the next airline’s owner is to maintain the Lisbon hub created for the flights with destination to Brazil and Africa.
“The risk for Portugal is enormous because TAP is its major national exporter. In the last year, Brazil represented more than 20% of the carrier’s sales, and due to the explosion of the Lisbon hub, TAP foresees that the domestic market (29% of revenues, over a total of €2bn) will be overcome soon by the Brazilian one”, points the digital publication.