IAG, Lufthansa or Air France-KLM could have something to say about the government's efforts to privatize TAP. Everything from investments to a sale are on the table.
Portugal’s state holding company Parpublica has hired Ernst & Young and Portuguese bank Banco Finantia to determine the value of state-owned airline TAP ahead of its privatisation, it said on Tuesday.
TAP is currently restructuring under a Brussels-approved 3.2 billion euro ($3.49 billion) rescue plan. The government wants to launch the sale as early as this month, but intends to keep a strategic stake.
Parpublica said in a statement that “as part of the privatisation process of TAP, it hired Ernst & Young and Banco Finantia to carry out the valuations”, without disclosing further information, namely when those are likely to be completed.
At least three major global carriers – IAG, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM – have so far shown an interest in the airline, whose privatisation could be launched this month.
Infrastructure Minister Joao Galamba said last month that keeping Lisbon’s airport hub and safeguarding TAP’s strategic role for Portugal will be key conditions of the airline’s upcoming privatisation, more so than the sale price.
TAP is crucial for Portugal mainly because, through the Lisbon hub, it flies in the bulk of air travellers to the country, supporting the current tourism boom, the government has repeatedly said.
TAP’s first-quarter net loss more than halved to 57.4 million euros as passenger numbers surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
($1 = 0.9173 euros)
(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; Editing by David Latona and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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Photo credit: A TAP Air Portugal aircraft. Reuters