Zagreb receives no bids in tender for 49% in national carrier Croatia Airlines

By bne IntelliNews November 29, 2013

The government in Zagreb has received no bids for the purchase of 49% in national carrier Croatia Airlines, daily Jutarnji List reported.

The deadline for the submission of letters of interest expired at midnight on Nov 27 and although some talks have been made with potential investors (like China Southern Airlines,Turkish Airlines and UAE's Etihad) the current public procurement procedure in Croatia is not suitable for them, transport minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic said.

He expressed hope investors will show interest in the second privatisation attempt, which will come early next year.

Interested parties were invited to bid to purchase 4,762,943 regular series A shares and 84,345 regular series B shares owned by the state, which make up a 49% of the airline's founding capital.

The Croatian Competition Agency approved a restructuring programme for Croatia Airlines in June, which envisages costs of HRK 1.94bn (EUR 260mn), most of which (HRK 1.18bn) to be covered by the state, while the remaining 40% need to be secured by the airline. The government has recapitlised Croatia Airlines with billions of kuna and continues to restructure the company to improve its operations and make it more attractive to investors.

Croatia Airlines, which employs 1,086 people, closed 2012 with a consolidated loss of HRK 478.2mn, deeper than the HRK 75.5mn loss it had in 2011. It has a fleet of 13 aircraft and last year it transported 1.9mn passengers. Transport minister Doncic said the company will end profitably this year - for a first time in its history.


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