Poland in talks with Chinese buyers over LOT airline stake | Reuters

Poland is in talks with potential investors from China over selling a stake in the state airline LOT [LOT.UL], Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday.

Poland’s euroskeptic, conservative government has been looking to tighten its relations with China since coming to power last year. The two countries pledged deeper co-operation during the visit of China’s leader Xi Jinping to Warsaw in June.”LOT is our national carrier, which we are trying to save no matter the cost. It is deeply in debt,” Morawiecki told state news agency PAP on Wednesday, adding that without a national carrier Poland would become a more peripheral country.

LOT, one of the world’s oldest airlines, has for years struggled to compete against low-cost competitors like Ryanair (RYA.I) and bigger rivals. The state-owned airline was saved from bankruptcy in 2012 thanks to public aid of more than 500 million zlotys ($130 million).

“The previous government has already granted public support for LOT, we cannot grant another and we are looking for an investor,” Morawiecki said.

“According to EU law a carrier from outside the EU cannot take over more than 49 percent of a carrier from the EU, hence we are in talks with potential investors, among others, from China,” he said.Morawiecki also said that usually it is a very long road to finalize such a transaction.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Polish local newspaper reported that Chinese carrier Air China (601111.SS) is interested in buying a 49-percent stake in LOT with a delegation from the Chinese firm expected to arrive in Warsaw over the coming days.

However, a LOT spokesman said he had no knowledge of any plans for a capital tie-up between LOT and Air China.

“I have no knowledge regarding any planned capital co-operation between LOT and Air China,” Adrian Kubicki, LOT spokesman said. “We have commercial co-operation with Air China, which we want to develop, regarding the Warsaw-Beijing route.”

Air China was not immediately available for comment.

Source: Poland in talks with Chinese buyers over LOT airline stake | Reuters

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India

%d bloggers like this: