TAP deal fails to take off

news: TAP deal fails to take off

After the government’s announcement on December 20 that the privatisation of TAP Portugal would not go through, it still remains unclear what are the government’s plans for the state-run airline.

Secretary of State of Treasury Maria Luís Albuquerque revealed that the company would be sold in “due time”, preferably before the end of the country’s adjustment programme in 2014.

“The government is reassessing its strategy,” she said. “We will take the market’s circumstances into consideration, but we still want to proceed with the privatisation,” added Maria Luís Albuquerque.

According to the Secretary of State, the offer by Synergy boss Germán Efromovich (pictured), who was selected by the government as the sole bidder from a group of 13 investors, wasn’t approved because “it wasn’t possible to assure the necessary financial means” for the airline’s recapitalisation.

The entrepreneur’s proposal was worth around €1.5 billion, of which €35 million would go straight to the government’s coffers. The remainder would cover the company’s debts (around €1 billion) and recapitalisation.

Although the Colombian-Brazilian businessman offered to raise his bid, increasing the recapitalisation amount from €166 to €316 million, the Portuguese government decided to reject the offer, following protests from the airline’s workers, who claimed they didn’t have a say in the process, and accusations of lack of transparency from the opposition. Ana Tavares