In a surprise move, ownership of Colombia's flag carrier Avianca exchanged hands late last week when Brazil's Sinergy Group acquired a controlling stake in the airline. Owner of the Brazilian regional airline OceanAir, the Sinergy Group purchased a 75% stake in Avianca in a deal that reduces Colombia's National Coffee Federation's (FNC) share to 25% and sees Valores Bavaria leave the carrier's ownership.The agreement allows the FNC to sell its stake in heavily indebted Avianca within the next three years.

The Sinergy Group successfully countered proposals from Continental Airlines, LanChile and TACA, and will also take control of Colombian airline SAM. Germ n Efromovich, chief executive for both the Sinergy Group and OceanAir, says Avianca will retain its identity and its current organisation will remain unchanged. The deal is still subject to creditor approval.


Source: Flight International