Acquisition of Spanair by Catalan consortium

Catalan businessmen, the Catalan regional government and the town hall of Barcelona to buy Spanair

A group of Catalan businessmen and women together with the Catalan regional government and the town hall of Barcelona have acquired 80.1% of Spanair, the second largest Spanish airline.

The group of business men and women and institutions which form the la sociedad Iniciatives Empresarials Aeronàutiques reached an agreement with the current owners of Spanair the Scandinavian company SAS before the deadline of 31st January expired.

SAS will continue to own 19.9% of Spanair and will be responsible for Spanair’s debts of 500 million euros according to the Catalan association which has confirmed that in the next few weeks a definitive deal will be signed. SAS will also keep control of the operative management of Spanair.

The Aeronautical Association of Business Initiatives includes the following Catalan groups – la sociedad de capital riesgo Catalana d’Iniciatives, Consorci Turisme de Barcelona – which belongs to the town hall, Volcat 2009, Fira de Barcelona, the Catalan regional government, a group of business men and women from the Catalan tourist sector together with business representatives from other parts of Spain.

According to information on its web page Catalana d’Iniciatives consists of a group of buisnesses including La Caixa, Santander, Gas Natural, Telefónica, Repsol YPF, Ferrovial, CAM, Endesa and the town hall of Barcelona.

The acquisition of Spanair implies expanding the group’s capital by 100 million euros which will be taken on by new partners.

The business plan behind the acquisition of Spanair is based on promoting Barcelona as a platform for future growth, taking advantage of the new T1 terminal, the cancellation of non profitable routes and a reduction of costs by improving operations and supply.

According to the new owners of Spaniar the airline will strengthen routes where there is strong demand from business passengers on weekdays and routes where there is strong demand from passengers who travel for leisure at the weekend and during the holiday season.

It also hopes that the routes between Barcelona-Madrid-Palma de Mallorca are strengthened as well as routes to the Canary Islands.

Over recent months Spanair has made 775 of its workers redundant as a means of reducing its operative base.