The airline said it "has mandated global investment bank Greenhill to evaluate financing options for the future development of the airline, which includes the search for a potential new investor."
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic said: “In order to follow the growth strategy outlined in our Destination 2025 business plan, airBaltic requires additional financing for the future development of the company. We are pleased to be working with Greenhill as an experienced financial adviser on potential options.”
The terms under which Greenhill has been engaged were not revealed. The company describes itself as "a leading independent investment bank entirely focused on providing financial advice on significant mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings and capital raising to corporations, partnerships, institutions and governments globally. It acts for clients located throughout the world from its offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Madrid, Melbourne, San Francisco, São Paulo, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto."
You can see some of the recent deals in which Greenhill has been involved in this handy section of its website. Though involved in many blue chip mergers and acquisitions, its recent experience in the aviation sector appears to be limited, though since November 2018 it has been involved in a pending deal for Bristow Group to buy Columbia Helicopters for 560 million dollars.
The airline remains majority owned-by the Latvian state, which has been looking to offload its holding for some time. Recent years have seen various rumors about potential buyers for airBaltic, with Turkish and Chinese companies among those in the mix, but despite improved financial results and a series of upbeat messages from the company about the prospect of a future deal, none have been forthcoming.
The state holds 80% of airBaltic shares with the remainder held by Danish investor Lars Thuesen.
airBaltic is headquartered in Rīga and serves over 70 destinations from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius.