Government continues effort to sell off SriLankan Airlines

Government continues effort to sell off SriLankan Airlines

Written by Staff Writer

22 Aug, 2018 | 12:08 am

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Sri Lanka has revived the process of privatizing the state-run carrier that is saddled with at least $1 billion of debt.

According to Bloomberg, the Government has recommenced the process nearly a year after talks with the sole bidder TPG Capital collapsed following the due diligence of the struggling airline.

Bloomberg quoting Mano Tittawella, an adviser to the Finance ministry reports that the ministry will seek preliminary bids for SriLankan Airlines Limited by September or October. Years of losses have prompted the government to look for a buyer and offer to absorb all the company’s debt.

The report adds that in the latest attempt that started in 2016, at least eight parties showed interest in a sale. Those included U.S. buyout firm Blackstone Group LP and TPG.

Emirates held 44% of SriLankan Airlines until 2010 when the government bought the stake following the end of the civil war. According to its annual report, the company’s total losses stood at 141.1 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($879 million) as of March 2017.

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