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Flap Sup
12th Jun 2001, 18:31
From Janes today:


SAir aviation carve-up continues

The sale of SAir Group's non-core assets are continuing apace with rumours the holding company is looking for a buyer for its aircraft leasing businesses and is talking to a number of aircraft leasing companies, a senior source told Jane's Transport Finance.

SAirGroup fully owns Flightlease and has 50% stake in the GATX Flightlease joint venture with GATX Capital Corp, the world's third-biggest aircraft leasing company. The source told JTF that SAir is keen to reduce its exposure to the airline industry, to which Flightlease leases aircraft on a third-party basis. Flightlease has arranged finance many for the airlines in the holding company structure, including Swissair, LOT Polish Airlines, Sabena and TAP Air Portugal.

Analysts are not surprised by the continuing carve-up of SAir's interests, in light of its massive about-turn on investing in the airline industry. "What I think is very questionable is how such a company could let a strategy go on for such a long time without making much of an attempt to change it," said one analyst in Zurich. With the continuing refocusing trend in terms of ownership of aircraft leasing companies, industry players are not only looking at the big players but also at the next tier down as potential bidders for Flightlease.

Also, SAir and the Belgium government agreed to a E250 million ($228 million) recapitalisation of loss-making Sabena. But SAirGroup made it clear that the company may come back on a plan to raise its stake to 85% from 49.5%. It also hinted at the possibility of a total withdrawal from Sabena. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines , SAS , British Airways Plc and Deutsche Lufthansa plan to complain. The European Commission said it was looking into a recapitalisation plan for Sabena to see whether a proposed cash injection by Belgium constitutes state aid.

Chairman and interim Chief Executive Eric Honegger has written to his staff saying that SAir needs to "solve our acute problems in France, Belgium and Germany" before strategic decisions are possible and that the group could join a bigger alliance. SAir has a 49% stake in three airlines in France - Air Liberte, AOM and Air Littoral. Their new chief executive has another three weeks to come up with a plan for survival. In Germany, SAir has a 49.9% stake in the LTU airline in which Rewe Touristik has a 40% stake and WesttLB a 10.1% holding.

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Any idea 'bout AOM, Air Littoral and Air Liberte? Will any of those be closed down?
rgds FS

Frozen Falcon
12th Jun 2001, 21:50
Well the information you got are not up to date.
Presently Dr.Mario Corti is Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Swissair-Group (not SAir anymore).
Eric Honegger was fired approx. 2 month ago.

The decision about the future of the partnership together with Sabena is as you said not yet made.

Swissair definitely divests of the three "French Regionals" until end of July 2001 as they lose 80 million SFR. a month.

This rearguard action out of France costs Swissair 1 Billion Swiss Francs (560 million USD).

If SR would not be of such a high public interest in Switzerland they would have to declare bankruptcy.

The present rumours say that some "European Majors" like for e.g. BA are interested in buying the "little mountain airline".

Swissair plans are to save 500 million SFR within the second half year 2001.

We will see, interesting times.

Hope it helps a bit.

hay„k Allah!
Frozen Falcon