Deal signed between airBaltic and investor

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National airline airBaltic shareholder agreement was signed between the Latvian government and German businessman Ralf-Dieter Montag-Girmes, airBaltic told LETA Thursday.

Under the deal, a total of EUR 132 million of fresh capital will be invested in the Latvian carrier for fleet modernization and its new Horizon 2021 business plan.

Montag-Girmes and Transport Ministry's State Secretary Kaspars Ozolins will give a press conference at airBaltic head offices at the Riga International Airport at 4 p.m. today.

In November 2015, the government approved the plan to sell 20 percent of airBaltic to Montag-Girmes for EUR 52 million and agreed to invest a further EUR 80 million in the airline. Under the deal, the German investor will hold 20 percent of shares in the carrier, while the remaining stake will be held by the Latvian government.

The investment and the increase of the equity of airBaltic were backed by Saeima on December 3, 2015. Saeima approved the deal under the condition that airBaltic and its affiliated companies are prohibited from purchasing, renting or otherwise utilizing equipment produced by military industrial complexes and their affiliates subject to sanctions imposed by the European Union or the international community and are ratified by Latvia.

Montag-Girmes said today that "airBaltic is an outstanding carrier in a unique market niche with Riga as its main hub in the Baltics and excellent future opportunities in Tallinn and Vilnius - I am delighted that we have now finalized the agreement and can proceed with the growth scenario of airBaltic."

On the other hand, Transport Ministry's State Secretary Kaspars Ozolins said the new equity would be used for investing into new aircraft rather than leasing them, thus giving airBaltic an advantage on the cost side and improving passenger experience. This will further enhance the connectivity of Latvia, support economic growth and create new jobs.

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