21-Dec-2012 3:01 PM

TAP Portugal privatisation suspended until "the appropriate time" following rejection of Synergy bid

Portugal's Government suspended TAP Portugal's privatisation following the Council of Ministers' "unanimous" rejection of Synergy Aerospace's bid over financial concerns, according to Secretary of the Treasury María Albuquerque, according to reports by local media including Jornal de Negocios, Dinheiro Vivo, EFE and Panrotas. Ms Albuquerque said, "It was not possible to secure the financial resources that would ensure an increase in capital and the refinancing of the company." Ms Albuquerque added that Synergy's offers "were not guaranteed unequivocally" by banks, and the submission of bank guarantees was one of the requirements of the process. Ms Albuquerque said the Government now plans to privatise the carrier "at the appropriate time and under conditions to be defined", which will "ideally" be next year, though, "the timing is uncertain because naturally we have to start from scratch." Secretary for Public Works, Transport and Communications Sergio Monteiro said the suspension of the process "was not the desired scenario" and "creates additional difficulties". Mr Monteiro also denied previous reports of a Government "Plan B" whereby TAP would be shut-down and relaunched with the Government assuming the debt-load.

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