Lufthansa ponders major share in TAP
The German airline Lufthansa is preparing a post-Covid shopping spree and one of the first airlines it could purchase, part of at least, is Portuguese airline TAP.
According to the weekend newspaper SOL, Lufthansa is free to go shopping after having paid back the last tranche of its €1Bn support from the German State which had prevented it from making acquisitions.
Before the pandemic, and when David Neeleman had a shareholding in TAP, Lufthansa was planning to become a TAP shareholder.
At that time it valued TAP at €1Bn and was and is a partner with TAP in the Star Alliance, but was looking at a minor share in the Portuguese airline. However, word of the ground is that it is now looking to be a majority shareholder.
In the meantime, Pedro Nuno Santos was in Brussels last week to ensure that TAP’s restructuring plan gets approved and will not end up by being a ticking time bomb that will blow up right before next year’s January elections.
In fact, the future of the airline is reliant on Brussels giving its backing to the restructuring plan, without which the Portuguese government will be unable to provide further cash lifelines to the airline since DG Comp – the EU’s competition agency — will not give the go-ahead for the cash to be made available.