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Winning consortium announced in TAP sale

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American-Brazilian-Portuguese consortium to buy 61% stake
A winning consortium has been announced in the sale of a 61% stake in Portuguese state airline TAP, bringing an end to a controversial privatization opposed by many unions who fear large-scale restructuring and job losses.
Led by American-Brazilian investor David Neeleman, who founded US airline JetBlue and is chief executive of the Brazilian airline Azul, and Humberto Pedrosa, owner of a Portuguese bus company, the Gateway consortium will now take control of TAP.
“We can’t go against history,” Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho told journalists after the sale was confirmed. “We know what happened to most European flag carriers in recent years. […] If this process didn’t take place it would have meant the liquidation of TAP in the medium-term.”
The government will retain a 34% stake in TAP, which it can sell after two years. The remaining 5% is for staff.
The value of the transaction was between €354 million and €488 million, a sum that depends on the airline’s performance this year. This includes a €338 million capital injection by Gateway.
Reuters

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