National airline eyes investor

On Friday, Kārlis Krastiņš from the Prudentia consulting firm told LETA news agency that airBaltic has found an investor from Western Europe, which is prepared to invest €50m into Latvia's national airline. However, Transport Minister Anrijs Matīss (Unity) told Latvian Television Friday morning that such talks are "premature" and that announcements like these are exerting pressure on politicians.

The Transport Minister was perplexed as to why the financial consultant is telling media about attracting the investor and saying that the state will have to invest into the airline, although the ministry is still only evaluating the prospect.

As of now, Latvia is looking into the previous deals of the investor - believed to be from Germany - and whether the investor can be trusted. That's why Matīss would "not rush to say that it's the best investor" for Latvia.

Matīss said that the matter has not been reviewed by the government, and when it'll be determined if the investor can be trusted, and if the state will be able to invest €80m, the decision about will be made.

When asked if the consultants could use public announcements to pressure politicians into making a decision, Matīss said: "This [published information] is already exerting pressure."

On Friday, Kārlis Krastiņš, the board chairman of the Prudentia consultation office, told LETA news agency that airBaltic has found an investor from Western Europe, which is prepared to invest €50m into Latvia's national airline. 

A protocol of intention has been signed, while the name of the investor cannot be revealed due to confidentiality. It is said to be a 'solid European investor', who sees that airBaltic is competitive. The deal involves a law firm and a Latvian bank already, said Krastiņš.

The Ministry of Transport had inserted ads in the Financial Times of Europe and the UK in 2012, offering investment in the company. The Latvian government offers buying up to 50% minus one share. Prudentia is consulting the state about airBaltic since 2010.

airBaltic serves over 60 destinations from its home base in Riga.

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Economy
Economy