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ZAGREB (Croatia), November 5 (SeeNews) - A tie-up of Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ) and DVB Bank SE (part of Germany-based DZ BANK Group) has started exploring investor interest in the planned capital increase of Croatia Airlines [ZSE:CRAL], the state-owned flag carrier said.
Croatia Airlines is informing the public that all activities concerning the work of the financial advisors have been going on according to plan, it said in a filing with the Zagreb bourse last week.
The company will inform the public in due course about all further activities or new developments, it added.
In April, the government in Zagreb picked the PBZ/DVB Bank SE consortium to provide consultancy services for the planned recapitalisation of Croatia Airlines, as well as to help the company identify possible strategic partners.
In September, the government decided to provide the airline with 250 million kuna ($37.3 million/33.6 million euro) of fresh capital, aimed at helping it stabilise its operations ahead of the planned recapitalisation. In particular, the company will use the funds to finance aircraft repair, repay overdue debt to domestic suppliers, settle credit liabilities and make necessary investments in the coming 12 months.
Later the same month, Croatia Airlines received the first 100 million kuna of the pledged state aid.
Transport minister Oleg Butkovic said in September that the best possible recapitalisation method should be chosen by the end of the year, with the aim of launching the recapitalisation process by June 1, 2020 at the latest.
Croatia Airlines' consolidated net loss widened to 48.4 million kuna in the first nine months of 2019, from 34.4 million kuna in the like period of last year. The airline transported 1.702 million passengers in the nine months through September, down 0.1% on the year.
The company's shares last traded on the Zagreb bourse on October 31, closing 2.94% higher at 35 kuna.
The Croatian government controls a stake of almost 99% in the airline.
(1 euro = 7.44313 kuna)