Avianca-TACA moves one step closer to IPO

Washington DC
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Avianca-TACA is seeking approval from Colombian authorities to potentially launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the local stock exchange.

An Avianca-TACA spokeswoman confirms the airline group has submitted an IPO "request" with Colombia's financial regulatory body, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia. But the company declines further comment until the regulators respond to its request.

The request is the first step to a potential public offering but does not specify how much of Avianca-TACA could be listed or how much the company may look to raise from an IPO.

The Avianca-TACA holding company was formally established early last year following the merger of Colombia-based Avianca and El Salvador-based Grupo TACA. Two thirds of the company is owned by Avianca's Efromovich family while one third is owned by Grupo TACA's Kriete family.

The Efromovichs, which acquired Avianca in late 2004, have always stated a long-term intention of returning Avianca to the stock exchange. Avianca was traded on the Colombian Stock Exchange several years ago.