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United paves path for Synergy ouster at Avianca

Avianca's second largest shareholder Kingsland Holdings has been granted authority to manage the airline's majority shareholder BRW Aviation, setting up a path to remove Synergy's German Efromovich from the Colombian carrier.

BRW, a subsidiary of Synergy, is in default on a $456 million loan extended by United in November 2016.

"In connection with the delivery by United of a notice of default to BRW, Kingsland Holdings Limited, AVH's largest minority shareholder, has been granted independent authority to manage BRW, which remains the majority shareholder of AVH," says United in a stock exchange filing.

The loan from United to BRW was secured by the latter's equity in Avianca and 516 million shares of the airline's common stock.

In a move to protect the collateral, the US major is offering to loan Avianca up to $150 million if needed and requested by the airline.

"United is committed to the possibility of supporting Avianca Holdings by offering to loan it up to $150 million if needed and requested by Avianca Holdings, assuming certain commitments and waivers are made by other stakeholders," the carrier says in a stock exchange filing.

United says that in order to protect its collateral after S&P Global Ratings downgraded the credit ratings of Avianca and its frequent flier programme LifeMiles on 13 May, it "began to exercise remedies available to it under the terms of the loan agreement and related documents" on 24 May.

Kingsland is owned by Roberto Kriete, former chief executive of Central American carrier Taca which merged with Avianca in 2010.

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