Gauss: airBaltic could be listed in a year's time

The chairman and CEO of Latvia's national airline, airBaltic, appeared on Latvian Television June 16.

Martin Gauss gave an upbeat assessment of the airline's current position as it continues to recover from the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, describing 2023 as a "record year" that is "better than any time before".

However, he was reluctant to speculate about the likely financial results for the second quarter, citing compliance with stock exchange requirements ahead of a planned bond issue.

For the first half of the year figures will be "much better than what we expected," said Gauss, without saying what had been expected.

"airBaltic is at the moment ahead of its own planning," said Gauss.

The airline will not ask for more financial support from the state, instead obtaining financing from issuing a bond, he said.

"We are preparing now for listing the company at the stock exchange... it's on the way an we intend to have the advisors and the banks hired in the Autumn and then the earliest time we can go to the stock exchange is next summer. We cannot go before that," Gauss told LTV, "The process will take approximately one year".

If all goes according to plan, airBaltic would be listed on both the local Nasdaq Rīga stock exchange but also an international stock exchange – though again he declined to specify which one, saying it would be in "one of the big European cities".

"It will be the largest IPO (Initial Public Offering) in the Baltic states as we see it now, so it will have a lot of attention inernationally," said Gauss, adding that it would also mean the state would get back its invested equity from taxpayers over the last 27 years.

The full English-language interview can be viewed in the video above. 

German citizen Martin Gauss has been the CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of airBaltic since November 2011.

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