The German owner of Adria Airways, which held 99.14% in the carrier before Thursday's shareholders' meeting, has squeezed out small investors at fifteen cents per share and now owns a full 100% stake in the company. The remaining share cost AA International Aviation Holding, an affiliate of the German turnaround fund 4K Invest, roughly 9.900 euros. The company said the move would simplify management, make the business structure more flexible and reduce operating costs. The German fund had acquired 96.09% in the formerly state-owned airline through a recapitalise-and-sell procedure in March. A total of 3.1 million euros in fresh capital was provided by the Slovenian state and one million by AA International Aviation Holding, which also paid 100.000 euros to the state-owned shareholders.
4K Invest is a leading European restructuring fund registered in Luxembourg and managed out of Munich. All of it ́s subsidiaries, including AA International Holding as Adria's parent company, are completely owned by European investors, mostly German nationals. 4K Invest anticipates for Adria to be profitable by the end of the year, following a loss of 6.9 million euros in 2015. "Actually, we look quite positively into this year, expecting good results. Adria's strategy seems like a good fit for a regional carrier", the airline's 33-year-old CEO, Arno Schuster, recently said. "We want to grow with our own existing network and to make it more efficient", he added.
Slovenia becomes the only country in the former Yugoslavia to have fully privatised key players in its aviation sector. In 2014, Germany's Fraport acquired operator Aerodrom Ljubljana, which runs Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, and now holds a 100% share in the company. In 2015, maintenance firm Adria Airways Tehnika was sold to Poland's Linetech Holding. The 100% stake was unofficially sold for around five million euros, some two million euros of which came in purchase money and the rest in the form of a loan repayment to the two former shareholders. Meanwhile, Delavska hranilnica, a union-owned savings bank which has a majority stake in Mairbor Airport's operator Aerodrom Maribor, is expected to sell its share to Chinese businessmen David Pu, the owner of Maribor winery Vinag, who is also associated with several Chinese ventures in the city. Mr Pu reportedly offered 6 - 7 million euros for an outright stake in Aerodrom Maribor pending due diligence and the resolution of outstanding issues such as the concession fee for airport infrastructure. The operator of Portorož Airport is also looking for a new owner with Aerodrom Ljubljana, holding company Istrabenz and the Port of Koper all moving to sell their stakes. The Serbian-based holding company MK Group is believed to be close to making an offer.