Despite a calculated worth of €1.2 billion, Portugal’s trouble-torn airline TAP has debts of just over a billion. Thus, when its long-planned sale is finally concluded, Expresso newspaper reveals the State will emerge with nothing – or, at best, “a little more than nothing”.
The harsh reality of the years of work TAP boss Fernando Pinto has put into promoting the airline and getting it ready for sale have already seen him taking an embarrassing pay cut (from €420,000 a year to €376,000) but this in no way prepared the way for last year’s losses – a devastating €85.1 million, €79.2 million up on losses for 2013.
Thus even when the ‘winning bid’ has been decided, profits will be non-existent.
For now, the bidding has been narrowed down to three, writes Expresso.
David Neeleman (boss of Azul), Efromovich (head of Avianca) and Gol, a Brazilian airline run by Paulo Kakinoff.
Any money ‘left over’ from paying debts has to be ploughed into recapitalising the company’s pension fund, explains Expresso, which needs “almost €200 million”.