17-May-2010 11:17 AM

Sri Lankan Government offers Emirates USD55m for SriLankan Airlines stake

SriLankan Airlines announced the Sri Lankan Government offered Emirates' USD55 million to acquire the UAE carrier’s 43.6% stake in the airline (Reuters, 15-May-2010). Last week Emirates Chairman and CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, stated the carrier would consider the sale of its stake in SriLankan “at the right price”. Emirates did not renew its management contract at the carrier in Jan-2008, prior to the start of the 2008/09 financial year. The Government holds a 51.05% stake in SriLankan, while its employees own the remaining 5.32%. Emirates reportedly paid USD70 million for the stake at SriLankan's privatisation in 1998.

Sri Lankan Government:Sri Lanka is going to buy it … USD55 million is the price we have indicated. The deal is almost done. We are looking for a strategic partner or somebody from the government to take that and maintain the commercial character of SriLankan,” PB Jayasundera, Secretary of Finance. Source: Reuters, 15-May-2010.

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