Portugal wants to keep strategic stake in TAP privatisation

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LISBON, June 2 (Reuters) – Portugal wants to keep a strategic stake in state-owned airline TAP and will not offer all its capital in the upcoming privatisation, the secretary of state for finance, Joao Nuno Mendes, said.

The government in April mandated state holding company Parpublica to pick two independent assessors to value TAP ahead of its privatisation, which could be launched in July according to Finance Minister Fernando Medina.

At least three major global carriers, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM  and British Airways-owner IAG, have shown an interest.

Mendes told a parliamentary committee the government wanted “the process to be conducted on terms that are compatible with maintaining a public stake of a strategic nature in the company”.

“The government is not open to selling the entire capital of TAP,” Mendes said, without providing further details.

The airline is under a Brussels-approved rescue plan worth 3.2 billion euros ($3.43 billion). The plan includes a downsizing of TAP’s fleet, cutting thousands of jobs and reducing wages for most workers.

TAP more than halved first-quarter net losses to 57.4 million euros as passenger numbers surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

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