The president of Barraqueiro and TAP’s private shareholder, Humberto Pedrosa, considers that the non-nationalization of the Portuguese airline “is good for the company and for the country” and underlined that it will always be part of the solution.
Humberto Pedrosa, president of the Barraqueiro group and owner of 50% of Atlantic Gateway, which owns 45% of TAP, reacts in statements today to O Jornal Económico to the announcement on Thursday of the agreement between the Government with the private shareholders of TAP that will translate into the departure of David Neeleman and the strengthening of the State’s shareholding position from 50% to 72.5%.
“Not nationalizing TAP is good for the country and for the company. It is good for everyone,” said Humberto Pedrosa.
Speaking to the economist, Humberto Pedrosa said that he will “always be part of TAP’s solution”.
Regarding the future shareholder configuration, Humberto Pedrosa told the newspaper that “it is still early, that it is not defined”.
The official also warned that “TAP will have a very large responsibility for an important restructuring for the viability of the company that will have to be approved by Brussels”.
The shareholder revealed that “the restructuring of TAP is already being prepared, which should be completed before the deadline set by Brussels”, which gave six months for the presentation of this plan after having approved the aid.
“I hope that a good plan will come out and that it will be approved by the European Commission,” said Humberto Pedrosa, ensuring that shareholders will “fight for TAP to be as large as possible and for cuts to be as small as possible, so that, otherwise, TAP may not be viable “.
The Government announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with TAP’s private shareholders, taking 72.5% of the airline’s capital, for 55 million euros, with the acquisition of the stake (22.5%) so far owned by David Neeleman. Entrepreneur Humberto Pedrosa holds 22.5% and workers the remaining 5%.
“In order to avoid the collapse of the company, the Government opted to reach an agreement for 55 million euros”, said the Minister of Finance, João Leão, in a joint press conference with the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos , Thursday in Lisbon.
The government clarified that Atlantic Gateway is now controlled by only one of the shareholders that comprised the consortium, namely the Portuguese Humberto Pedrosa, owner of the Barraqueiro group.
The owner of the Azul airline, David Neeleman, thus leaves the shareholder structure of TAP.
The European Commission approved on 10 June a “Portuguese emergency aid” to the airline TAP, a state support of up to 1,200 million euros to respond to “immediate liquidity needs” with predetermined conditions for its repayment.
Since TAP was already in a weak financial position before the covid-19 pandemic, the company “is not eligible” to receive state aid under the more flexible Brussels rules due to the outbreak, which are aimed at “companies that otherwise they would be viable “.
The Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, announced that the executive chairman of TAP Antonoaldo Neves will be replaced “immediately”, without revealing who succeeds him.
Pedro Nuno Santos also announced that the Government will hire a company to search the international market for a qualified management team for TAP.
The minister refused to assume a scenario of redundancies at TAP as part of the airline’s restructuring process.
“Inevitabilities I do not assume. It does not make sense to be assuming scenarios that will result from a restructuring plan,” he said.