Saturday, May 15, 2010
Sri Lanka offers Emirates $55 million for airline stake
15 May 2010
COLOMBO - Sri Lanka has offered $55 million to buy back the 43.6 per cent stake Dubai’s Emirates airline holds in national carrier SriLankan Airlines, the island nation’s treasury secretary said on Friday.
Emirates, the Arab world’s largest airline, had no immediate comment, but earlier this week had said it was willing to sell the stake “at the right price.”
“Sri Lanka is going to buy it... $55 million is the price we have indicated,” P.B. Jayasundera, secretary of the finance ministry and the treasury, told Reuters in an interview.
“The deal is almost done,” Jayasundera said. “We are looking for a strategic partner or somebody from the government to take that (the stake) and maintain the commercial character of SriLankan (Airlines).”
He declined to say whether an arm of the government would take over the stake, or whether it would be sold to an outside partner.
The government will facilitate the transfer “to Bank of Ceylon or somebody who can basically participate in a business,” Jayasundera said, referring to the largest state-owned bank.
source - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/