Friday, October 2, 2015

Aeroflot drops plans to acquire Transaero; bankruptcy imminent

Aeroflot’s plans to acquire Transaero Airlines have fallen through and the Russian government will allow Transaero to enter bankruptcy, placing the carrier’s future in serious doubt. 

A source confirmed to ATW that the Russian government has ruled out rescuing Transaero. ATW understands that the government decided Transaero’s debt burden was too high for a bailout to be viable.

On Sept. 1, it was announced Aeroflot would acquire struggling Transaero.

Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, was ready to buy 75% plus one share of Transaero for RUB1 (1.53 US cents).

But Aeroflot, which is 51%-owned by the Russian government, backed out of the deal when Transaero’s shareholders, which are led by Alexander and Olga Pleshakova, failed to consolidate 75% plus one share of the airline’s ownership by Sept. 28 in order to facilitate the Aeroflot acquisition.

The Sept. 28 deadline had been agreed to with Aeroflot, which refused to give Transaero’s shareholders more time.

Also, Russian media reported that Transaero’s main creditors could not come up with a solution for the airline’s debt problem. Transaero’s overall debt has reached RUB250 billion, Interfax agency has reported, quoting Sberbank president Herman Gref. Sberbank as one of Transaero’s biggest creditors.

Aeroflot has guaranteed it will fulfill obligations to Transaero passengers who otherwise would be stranded if the airline ceases operating. “The passengers will be carried or will be able to get a refund,” Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Savelyev said in a statement Oct. 1.

(Polina Montag-Girmes - ATWOnline News)

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