TAP in final countdown

With three binding offers finally submitted by investors interested in buying-up TAP Air-Portugal, it looks very much like the bid by the “Portuguese millionaire-with-the-Midas-touch” could come out on top – adding weight to the words of presidential candidate Paulo Morais who declared recently that the government and unions were in cahoots to “deliver TAP” in as worse a financial state as possible “into the hands of powerful friends”.

Aristocrat and art collector Miguel Pais do Amaral – a descendant of the legendary Marquis de Pombal and the 4th Count of Alferrarede – is reported to have ditched his initial partner in the bid, US ‘union-buster’ Frank Lorenzo, to team up with three US equity funds, and offer an “immediate” €325 million cash injection for the beleaguered national carrier.

As Portuguese media reverberates with the implications of this story, the bottom line is that the government may announce a deal within the next two weeks.

Also in this last leg of the ‘race’ are Brazilian businessman David Neeleman, head of Azul Airlines, and Colombian aviation boss Germán Efromovich.