The Portuguese secretary of state for the treasury, Miguel Cruz, has said that the private shareholder of TAP SGPS, Humberto Pedrosa, will no longer have a stake in TAP SA, as the flag carrier will become wholly state-owned.
“The private shareholder is and remains, as a result of this operation, a private shareholder in TAP SGPS (Holding company), which has several other assets, but not TAP SA,” Miguel Cruz told reporters at a press conference at the ministry of infrastructure.
The secretary of state was speaking alongside the minister for infrastructure and housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, and the assistant secretary of state for communications, Hugo Santos Mendes, after the European Commission approved the TAP restructuring plan.
Miguel Cruz clarified that “the capital contributions, of the state aid” mentioned “are contributions via TAP SA”, something that results in a “separation between the TAP SA assets and the holding company TAP SGPS”.
“The private shareholder, with whom we continue to collaborate and discuss options for the future, remains exactly like a private shareholder in TAP SGPS, with exactly the same percentage,” Cruz said.
Humberto Pedrosa owns 22.5% of TAP SGPS, with the remaining 77.5% held by the state.
The secretary of state noted that TAP SGPS still owns assets such as “Cateringpor, Groundforce and Portugália airlines.
“But with these capital injections, TAP SA will become exclusively state-owned” and will no longer be held by TAP SGPS.
The European Commission said it had approved TAP’s restructuring plan and the €2.55 billion state aid, requiring the airline to release up to 18 slots a day at Lisbon airport.
“Today, following its in-depth investigation and comments from stakeholders and Portugal the Commission approved the proposed restructuring plan,” the EU executive said in a statement, specifying that “the support plan will take the form of €2.55 billion of equity or quasi-equity measures, including the conversion of the €1.2 billion rescue loan into equity.”
The Commission pointed out that the plan requires the separation of the TAP and Portugália businesses, on the one hand, and the non-core assets, namely in the maintenance business in Brazil, and the ‘catering’ and ‘handling’ businesses, on the other, which are to be divested.
The Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, said today that support for TAP would reach a limit of €3.2 billion due to amounts already paid out and others yet to be approved.
In addition to the €2.55 billion mentioned by Brussels, there is also compensation related to the Covid-19 pandemic, with 462 million euros for the first half of 2020, €107 million for the second half, and still “missing is the covid compensation for the first half of 2021 that will be approved in the coming days,” according to the minister.