The Portuguese government announced Thursday the renationalisation of its flagship airline TAP Air Portugal. The state will acquire 72.5% of the capital to prevent a collapse of the airline due to the coronavirus crisis.
The government already owns 50% of the shares and will invest 55 million euros to increase its equity to 72.5% in the airline, considered as a strategic asset for the country: it plays an essential role in the tourism sector, one of the engines of the Portuguese economy.
After long negotiations with private shareholders, the government has reached this agreement which allows the main private shareholder, the American David Neeleman to withdraw. His Portuguese partner Humberto Pedrosa will keep 22.5% of the shares and the group’s employees will keep their 5%.
TAP was privatised up to 61% in 2015, but in 2016 the Portuguese State came back in the capital with 50%, while the Atlantic Gateway consortium of Neeleman and Pedrosa owned a 45% interest.