The new German owner of Slovenia's flag carrier has published a takeover bid to acquire all of Adria Airways' remaining shares at fifteen cents apiece. This values the 3.91% stake at less than 45.000 euros. Previously, AA International Aviation Holding, an affiliate of the German turnaround fund 4K Invest, acquired a 96.09% stake in Adria through a recapitalise-and-sell procedure completed in March for 100.000 euros and an additional one million euro capital injection. It is now seeking to buy the remaining 298.702 shares in an offer valid between April 8 and May 9. The bidding notice does not state the threshold needed in order for the acquisition to be successful.
Since taking over Adria, 4K Invest has already implemented a number of changes. The new management has suspended several loss making routes and cancelled plans for a new service from Ljubljana to Cologne. The airline will also reduce its number of flights from its base in Lodz in Poland to Amsterdam from six to four times per week. However, on the other hand, Adria will introduce new flights from the city to Paris, and will launch services from Olsztyn as well. It has also concluded short-term wet-leases of its aircraft and crew to both Austrian Airlines and Air Serbia. As a result, one of the jets will be leased out from Adria's mainline fleet (to Air Serbia), while the other, leased by Austrian, is a former Estonian Air aircraft, operated by the Slovenian carrier. In addition, as of last week, Adria has based a former Estonian CRJ900ER jet in Ljubljana for the summer.
|Adria Airways' new CEO - Arno Schuster|
Following media reports in Slovenia that 4K Invest is tied to Iranian businessmen, who the press claimed to be the actual new owners of Adria, the German company was quick to deny such assertions, labelling them as "utter nonsense". "4K Invest and all of its subsidiaries, including AA International Holding, the parent company of Adria Airways, are completely owned by European Investors, mostly German nationals", the company said in a statement. It added, "Any rumours of Iranian ownership are utterly nonsense. The persons and organisations with links to Iran mentioned in a Slovenian publication in the last days are unknown to 4K Invest. The responsible manager on the side of 4K Invest, who headed negotiations with the Republic of Slovenia and its organisations, is Dr Martin Vorderwuelbecke. Neither he nor other managers of 4K Invest have any relation to Iran". The German company has named 33-year old former liquidator Dr. Arno Schuster as Adria's new CEO.