Aegean submits bid for Olympic
Aegean Airlines has presented to the Hellenic Republic its own offer for the sale of assets of Olympic Airways.
Aegean's offer is for the acquisition of:(a) the minimum assets on sale related to the flight activity of Olympic for the amount of 90,000,000 euros (double the amount of the minimum valuation made by the advisors of the Greek State) and
(b) the minimum assets on sale related to the technical base for the amount of 20,000,000 euros.
(c) In addition, the acquisition price of the shares of Pantheon A.E. will be equal to the actual net worth of this company, which is estimated at 60,000,000 euros.
Aegean says its goal and that of its shareholders is the development of a Greek airline with the necessary critical size, strength and capability to face international competition.
The airline states: "In the event our offer is accepted by the Hellenic Republic, we are willing to cede part of the activity in the domestic market (in the event it is deemed necessary) in order to further strengthen existing competition within the domestic market; in any case a number of other airlines are already active in the domestic market with some recent entrants during the last few months. It is important to underline that our company will in any case retain the obligation to submit an offer for the Public Service Obligation routes.
"We are committed in closing the acquisition process and taking over the operation within sixty (60) days from the signature of the relevant agreement(s). This will save hundreds of millions of euros from further operational losses, which would burden the Hellenic Republic in case another private party would undertake the operation of OA at a significantly later date.
"The recent wave of mergers, buy outs and privatisations in the European Airline sector, with the creation of exceptionally strong airline groups, proves the necessity of such a transaction as we propose, in order to safeguard the long term provision of competitive high quality services from a Greek-based and -owned airline," argues Aegean. "It is important to note that in the international flights, representing 80% of the total traffic in 38 Greek airports, the two main Greek airline companies represent in aggregate, only 17% of the traffic, while the relevant percentage for the main airline carrier of most European countries is more than double this percentage.
"The recent privatisation and merger of Alitalia and AirOne, a development which was followed by the participation of Air France in this project, the buy out of Brussels Airlines by Lufthansa, the expected merger of British Airways with Iberia, as well as the process in progress of the buy out of Austrian by Lufthansa make obvious the advantages from the creation of an even stronger Greek company.
"It is our belief that, not only the real needs of the Greek Tourism industry and the Greek economy, but also the expectations of our 70,000 Greek shareholders are being perfectly served by the creation of one big Greek airline company based on records of the core of Aegean. Having the experience and know-how, the youngest fleet in South Eastern Europe, a skilled and dynamic management team, strong links with international majors, strong capital structure, and excellent recognition in both the domestic market and abroad, we are well positioned to best benefit from the heritage of the Olympic brand, to jointly create a strong national champion.
"Aegean Airlines is the most dynamically developing airline company in Greece with 6 million passengers transported in 2008. It is listed in the Athens Stock Exchange and its main shareholders are six of the healthiest groups of enterprises in the country, while 70,000 Greek shareholders cover the remainder of its share capital. Aegean is well on its way to complete the biggest investment in the Greek airline industry, reaching $1.2 billion over four years, by renewing its fleet with brand new Airbus 320/321s. Since its inception Aegean has created 2,300 jobs and in summer 2009 will be flying 200 flights per day in 47 domestic and international destinations, as well as an additional 50 charter destinations. Aegean has been a Lufthansa Regional Partner since 2005."
Aegean says the company and its advisors are at the disposal of the Hellenic Republic to discuss and participate in the process of drawing the relevant documents for discussion and agreement.