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Croatia Airlines gets two non-binding bids for planned capital hike

Author Iskra Pavlova
Croatia Airlines gets two non-binding bids for planned capital hike Author: Croatia Airlines. License: All rights reserved.

ZAGREB (Croatia), December 23 (SeeNews) - State-owned flag carrier Croatia Airlines [ZSE:CRAL] said on Monday it has received two non-binding bids for its planned capital hike.

A consortium of financial advisers comprising Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ) and DVB Bank SE (part of Germany-based DZ BANK Group) has completed the preliminary phase of exploring investor interest in the planned capital increase, which resulted in receiving the two bids, Croatia Airlines said in a short filing with the Zagreb bourse.

It gave no further details, saying that the public will be timely informed on all new developments in the process.

All activities envisaged by the financial advisers have been going on according to plan, the statement said.

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 million/34 million euro) of fresh capital, aimed at helping it stabilise its operations ahead of the planned recapitalisation. In particular, the funds will go 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 December 19, closing 25.29% lower at 26 kuna.

The Croatian government controls a combined stake of almost 99% in the airline.

(1 euro = 7.44525 kuna)