TAP: Portuguese-backed bid “falls” as government agrees to negotiate with South Americans

Bids by Brazil’s David Neeleman – founder of Azul airlines – and Colombia’s Germán Efromovich – the head of Avianca – were accepted by the government today (May 21) as the proposal led by the only Portuguese in the race, Miguel Pais do Amaral, is reported to have been rejected for “not complying with the minimum legal requirements”.

As Jornal i reports, Neeleman has referred to the purchase of TAP as an “interesting business, because it has strong links with Brazil” and he hopes to “do a lot of interesting things” by integrating the two airlines.

Efromovich has been interested in TAP since the first privatisation process in 2012 – pulled by the government on the basis that Efromovich had not produced the necessary bank guarantees.

Shortly after the debacle, it transpired that former government minister Miguel Relvas may have had an inappropriate relationship with Efromovich over the deal and that this was what led the government to delay privatisation.

As to a time scale this time round, newspapers are still suggesting it is a matter of weeks before the sale goes through, with transport minister Sérgio Monteiro telling Jornal i that he doesn’t expect any delays.

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