Tuesday, March 12, 2013

■ MALAWI: Ethiopian Airlines confirms talks have begun with Government over 49% stake in Air Malawi, choice of local partner.

EthiopianAfter being declared the "preferred bidder" for a stake in Malawi's now dissolved national carrier Air Malawi (QM), Ethiopian Airlines (ET) says it has officially entered into negotiations with the government regarding its 49% buy-in.

An Ethiopian 757 in Lilongwe (khym54)
Ethiopian Airlines boss Tewolde Gebremariam told EThiopian paper, The Reporter, that talks had commenced with the Malawi Public Private Partnership (PPP) Commission, the Malawian government entity responsible for the disposal of the stake in Air Malawi 2012 Ltd, the new investment vehicle that took over from Air Malawi Ltd.
"Tewolde Gebremariam, told The Reporter that the Malawian Privatization Commission invited ET as a preferred bidder for the privatization of Air Malawi. Tewolde said the two parties have started discussions. However, he said details of the discussions are covered under a confidentiality agreement, adding that it cannot be public information. "
Source [The Reporter]

Should Ethiopian conclude a deal, it will control a 49 percent stake in Air Malawi (2012) with the Malawian government holding 20 percent while the remaining 31 percent is open to Malawian citizens who can either be individuals or institutions.

The negotiations between the government and Ethiopian Airlines will revolve around the new venture's capitalization and choice of local partner, with hopes that a new airline will be able to start operations within the "next two months". 

Ethiopian was selected due to its "global experience and competitiveness through which, the viability of a restructured Air Malawi will be greatly enhanced."