airBaltic pays consulting firm after long row

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Following a row with the Prudentia consulting firm, Latvia's flag-carrier airline airBaltic has paid the firm for finding Ralf-Dieter Montag-Girmes as an investor, reported Latvian Radio Monday.

Last year it wasn't clear whether the investor would be paid and even cost former Transport Minister Anrijs Matīss his seat. He claimed that Prudentia should not receive pay following a confidentiality breach, due to the fact that most of the work in finding the investor had been done after dismissing the company.

Unofficial sources have told BNS that Prudentia would have been paid 2% of the investment sum according to the original agreement. That would mean about €1m considering that Montag-Girmes has invested about €52m into the airline.

Prudentia head Kārlis Krastiņš did not reveal the sum to Latvian Radio, saying however that Prudentia has concluded its business with the Transport Ministry and airBaltic without any further claims.

"We are glad and grateful that five years of work ended with a successful deal in attracting an investor. The agreement has been concluded according to plan," Krastiņš told Latvian Radio.

On February 4 airBaltic signed an agreement with investor Ralf-Dieter Montag-Girmes. Under the deal, a total of €132 million of capital will be invested in the Latvian carrier for fleet modernization and its new Horizon 2021 business plan, with Girmes investing €52m and the State Treasury lending a further €80m.

airBaltic is currently on the lookout for a 'strategic' long-term investor as opposed to 'financial' investor Montag-Girmes.

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