Ixe's withdrawal puts Mexicana closer to liquidation

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The Mexican investment bank IXE has announced that it is "no longer interested" in leading a group of investors to take over bankrupt Grupo Mexicana.

IXE justifies its decision saying that "it failed to attract the interest of investors" to obtain the necessary capital to refloat the grounded Oneworld carrier.

However, the fact that IXE announced nearly simultaneously its withdrawal from the Mexicana acquisition process and that it was in negotiations to be acquired itself by its competitor bank Banorte indicate that IXE is currently not in a situation to sustain two complex transactions at a time.

After learning about IXE's decision, Mexico's Secretary of Labour Javier Lozano, convened Mexicana union representatives for a meeting to reassess the situation created after losing the last publicly known potential investor for Mexicana. Just before the meeting he declared in a radio interview that "should no investor appear in the next few days to inject fresh cash into Mexicana, its liquidation could be imminent".

He might try to convince the unions to make further concessions over labour debts as, according to figures made public during the bankruptcy process, about 40% of Mexicana's US$1 billion net debt is labour related.

Reportedly IXE offered to accept up to US$80 million of payments to around 8,000 employees that would have to be laid off as a result of the necessary downsizing process.