Referring to the public invitation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Privatization to Greek businessmen and business groups for submission of offers for the privatization of Olympic Airlines (4/02/09), Aegean Airlines submitted today to the Hellenic Republic an offer for the acquisition of:
a) the minimum assets on sale related to the flight activity of Olympic for the amount of 90,000,000 euros (double the amount of the minimum valuation made by the advisors of the Greek State) and
b) the minimum assets on sale related to the technical base for the amount of 20,000,000 euros.
c)In addition, the acquisition price of the shares of Pantheon A.E. will be equal to the actual net worth of this company, which is estimated at 60,000,000 euros.
The goal of Aegean and its shareholders is the development of a Greek airline with the necessary critical size, strength and the capability to face, with improved prospects, the international competition in the framework of the unified European
In the event our offer is accepted by the Hellenic Republic, we are willing to cede part of the activity in the domestic market (in the event it is deemed necessary) in order to further strengthen existing competition within the domestic market; in any case a number of other airlines are already active in the domestic market with some recent entrants during the last few months. It is important to underline that our company will in any case retain the obligation to submit an offer for the Public Service Obligation routes.
We are committed in closing the acquisition process and taking over the operation within sixty (60) days from the signature of the relevant agreement(s). This will save hundreds of millions of euros from further operational losses, which would burden the Hellenic Republic in case another private party would undertake the operation of OA at a significantly later date.
The recent wave of mergers, buy outs and privatizations in the European Airline sector, with the creation of exceptionally strong airline Groups, proves the necessity of such a transaction as we propose, in order to safeguard the long term provision of competitive high quality services from a Greek based and owned airline. It is important to note that in the international flights, representing 80% of the total traffic in 38 Greek airports, the two main Greek airlines companies represent in aggregate, only 17% of the traffic , while the relevant percentage for the main airline carrier of most European countries is more than double this percentage.
The recent privatization and merger of Alitalia and AirOne, a development which was followed by the participation of Air France in this project, the buy out of the Belgian Brussels Airlines from Lufthansa, the expected merger of British Airways with Iberia, as well as the process in progress of the buy out of Austrian from Lufthansa make obvious the advantages from the creation of an even stronger Greek company.
It is our belief that, not only the real needs of the Greek Tourism industry and the Greek economy, but also the expectations of our 70,000 Greek shareholders are being perfectly served by the creation of one big Greek airline company based on records of the core of AEGEAN. Having the experience and know-how, the youngest fleet in South Eastern Europe, a skilled and dynamic management team, strong links with international Majors, strong capital structure, and excellent recognition in both the domestic market and abroad we are well positioned to best benefit from the heritage of the OLYMPIC brand , to jointly create a strong national champion.