Gol gets go-ahead for Webjet takeover

Rio de Janeiro
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Brazilian airline Gol has been given the green light for its purchase of low-cost carrier Webjet by the country's civil aviation administration ANAC.

Shortly after the deal was signed on 8 July, the agreement was forwarded to ANAC and other government agencies for final approval. ANAC's go-ahead is conditional on similar approvals from Brazil's securities exchange commission (CVM) and the CADE - a justice ministry agency that oversees large-scale financial transactions.

The deal originally was valued at $181.9 million - of which $56.5 million will be paid by Gol, while the remaining $125.4 million represents Webjet's debts that Gol will take on - but this may be adjusted depending on the CVM's technical and legal audit of Webjet's current financial state.

Recent statements made by Gol chief executive Constantino de Oliveira Junior indicate that Webjet will cease its operations if the CVM and CADE give their approval, with its fleet and staff being absorbed into Gol.

Currently Gol has a 35.4% share of the Brazilian domestic market, while Webjet has 5.16%. In comparison, Brazil's leading carrier, TAM, has a 44.4% market share.

Roughly 1,050 daily flights are performed by Gol and Webjet, although that number is expected to drop following the takeover.

The 24 Boeing 737-300s currently operated by Webjet will be absorbed into Gol's fleet, but sources indicate that these will be returned to lessors as contracts expire.