Lufthansa has started negotiations to buy 45% of the capital of its Star Alliance sister member TAP Air Portugal from its main private shareholder, according to the Portuguese economic daily “Jornal de Negocios” in its Monday edition. Lufthansa is said to have teamed up with United Airlines.
David Neeleman seems determined to sell his 45% stake in TAP Air Portugal, according to “Jornal de Negocios”, which assures that Lufthansa “has started negotiations with David Neeleman” on this subject. The German company has allied for the occasion with the American company United Airlines.
TAP (which lost 118 million euros in 2018 and 105.6 million in 2019, a result that the company explains by the renewal of its fleet) is 50% owned by the Portuguese State, 5% by employees and 45% by Atlantic Gateway, a private consortium formed by American-Brazilian businessman David Neeleman and his Portuguese partner Humberto Pedrosa.
Questioned by AFP, a Lufthansa spokesman refused to comment on “media speculation“. TAP also declined to comment.
David Neeleman – who was one of the three owners of defunct Aigle Azur – and the Portuguese socialist government do not agree on the TAP dossier. The government notably opposed the businessman’s plan to introduce the company on the stock market and expressed its concern over the strategy of the company whose investment policy is slow to produce positive results. But Neeleman earlier denied rumours that he wanted to withdraw from TAP because of these differences.