A new controversy has emerged as TAP’s privatisation is reversed. Diogo de Lacerda Machado – a businessman named as one of the government’s appointments to TAP’s new board – is connected to “one of the most ruinous deals” ever signed with the airline. National tabloid Correio da Manhã has tried to contact the lawyer and former Justice Secretary for a comment, but claims to have been met with silence.
The controversy centres on the €21 million purchase by TAP and Macau-based company Geocapital of VEM (Varig Engenharia e Manutenção), writes CM.
The deal back in 2006 allowed for maintenance and engineering of TAP planes in Brazil – but it was disastrous from the very beginning.
“In 2014 alone, the former VEM ran at a loss of €22 million,” the paper explains.
Alternative websites attest to the fact that much of TAP’s financial problems have stemmed from ruinous deals in which the company’s money was jettisoned.
In 2012, TAP’s accumulated deficit was €50 million – a figure that rose to well over €100 million by 2015.
Machado was a member of the old Varig administration, explains CM, and then went on to sit on the administrative board of Geocapital when this company joined forces with TAP.
Since then Machado has been involved in negotiations to reverse TAP’s privatisation, as announced by the government last Saturday.