BRAZILIAN AIRLINE VASP has taken control of Lloyd Aero Boliviano (LAB), following the Bolivian flag carrier's privatisation.

VASP has taken a 49% stake in the airline, which gives effective control under the terms of the privatisation programme. The share is valued at $48 million, although the bulk of this will come through VASP's donation of a Boeing 737, valued at $32 million. VASP will inject another $5 million in cash, with the remainder of the purchase price being paid in services.

Brazilian analysts are surprised by the terms of the deal, which values the airline at around twice the Government's original asking price. It had set the minimum at $15 million for one-third of the shares.

Although LAB posted a 1994 profit of $3.5 million on revenues of $125 million, this year it has been losing $700,000 a month.

VASP, which took control of Ecuadorian carrier Ecuatoriana in August, was alone in bidding for LAB after Brazilian airline Varig and LAN-Chile pulled out. A strike by LAB employees in protest against the sell-off, was blamed for LAN-Chile's withdrawal.

Source: Flight International