Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cargolux Airlines to have new shareholder, Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways plans to acquire a 33% stake in Cargolux Airlines International, QR CEO Akbar Al Baker told reporters in Dubai on Monday. “Yes we are, 33% ... We are to sign an agreement with them, in the next few weeks. We see there are synergies. Qatar Airways would like to expand and I always said we would only be interested [in other airlines] if they are healthy and well-established,” Baker reportedly told media. He did not mention the value of the planned transaction.

It is not clear whose 33% in Cargolux Qatar will buy. Luxair, the country’s national carrier, is CV’s largest shareholder with 52.1% while four Luxembourg financial institutions—BCEE (13.1%), SNCI (12.8%), BIP Investment Partners (11.5%) and Lux-Avantage (2.2%)—hold 39.6% and the Luxembourg state holds 8% directly. BCEE’s capital is entirely owned by the Luxembourg state.

SAirlines (part of the defunct Swissair Group) held a 33.7% stake in the company until December 2009 when its stake was sold to Cargolux’s existing current shareholders.

Europe’s largest all-cargo airline returned to the black in 2010 after three years of losses. Net profit for the year was $59.8 million, compared with a loss of $153.3 million in 2009. Full-year 2010 revenue increased 29.3% to $1.75 billion. The carrier operated 15 Boeing 747-400Fs and one 747-200SF as of Dec. 31. It has an order for 13 747-8Fs.

(Cathy Buyck - ATWOnline News)

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