Friday, April 27, 2018

State to sell Croatia Airlines


The Croatian government plans to privatise its national carrier after adopting a National Reform Program for 2018 yesterday aimed at boosting economic growth. It marks a u-turn in policy after the government listed the company as being of strategic importance to the state in January and not for sale. At the time the Minister for State Property, Goran Marić, noted that the carrier is of vital importance to the country's infrastructure network and that "the Republic of Croatia must continue to be its owner". However, a government official has now said that following the successful completion of Croatia Airlines' restructuring process, the carrier's future would be more secure with a strategic partner.

The move comes just days after unions warned that the airline was in an "alarming state". In a public letter last year, unions alleged that the recent sale of Croatia Airlines' slots and assets was part of the government's plan to reduce the carrier's value in order for its shares to be sold at a reduced price. Croatia Airlines was put up for sale in 2014, however, no interest was expressed during an international tender. Last year, the carrier's CEO noted that an investor would be required in order for the company to grow faster. By mid-2017, a proposal was drafted for the privatisation process and several airlines across the world had been contacted. However, there has been no progress on the matter since.

Following the completion of its restructuring process in 2015, Croatia Airlines has seen its passenger numbers and profit margins grow. It has also expanded its destination network, with more routes being added this summer for a third consecutive year. On January 1, the airline completed the two-year monitoring of the implemented restructuring plan. The former Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure in the Croatian government, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, previously said that a total of six companies had expressed interest in buying a stake in the national carrier. "Among them was Lufthansa, as well as a company from Cyprus and Greece each. We also held talks with an Indonesian (Garuda) and Chinese (Hainan) airline and there was initial interest from both", Mr Hajdaš Dončić said.

112 comments:

  1. Croatia Airlines and Air Serbia might be fighting for a new partner soon ...

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  2. Will they manage to find someone this time around?

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  3. odlično.. i jat je prodat emiraćanima, pa je sad sve u redu. i er serbija je sada jedna od najpopularnijih avio-kompanija u istočnoj evropi..

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    1. Well, Wizz Air has 10 times the amount of pax of Air Serbia, if you look at the entire Eastern Europe...

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    2. Anon 9:03 AA

      ������

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  4. Maybe 4K is interested

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    1. proslavili su se u LJU inace

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  5. "In a public letter last year, unions alleged that the recent sale of Croatia Airlines' slots and assets was part of the government's plan to reduce the carrier's value in order for its shares to be sold at a reduced price. "

    Tend to agree

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    1. da, nema veze što su bili prekratki sa kešom da finansiraju popravke motora, koje da nisu uradili mogli su slobodno da zatvore butigu.

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  6. Lufthansa is the logical partner. They virtually do everything together from Technics, sales, flightbags, ID Travel etc... LH will buy OU and integrate it into the system Eurowings. EW operated by OU.

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    1. I agree.

      I see Lufthansa Group buying Croatia Airlines and integrating it into Eurowings but retaining its own brand.

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    2. lufthansa is slowly becoming new etihad, buying all these airlines with questionable business models.

      first it was swiss (still a money loser), and austrian, then brussels. now it seems they will try to swallow alitalia.

      i think they have too much on their plate to take in croatia at the moment

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    3. I agree with Petar's assessment of Lufthansa.

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    4. well he is compeltely wrong. Swiss only loses money in Q1, Austrian is the money loser. Swiss is their star performer

      Eurowings is in deep black

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    5. @ Petar Čelik
      Swiss is no more a money looser! It has become the most profitable airline of Lufthansa Group! Last year Swiss had 561M CHF profit.

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    6. 561M CHF profit, are you sure???

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    7. hahahahahahahah the best comment I have ever read. The LH Group posted a record profit of 3 billion Euros last year. It is highly profitable, and Swiss being the most profitable company in the group.

      https://investor-relations.lufthansagroup.com/en/meldungen/financial-news/investor-relations-financial-news/datum/2018/03/15/lufthansa-group-erzielt-bestes-ergebnis-der-unternehmensgeschichte.html

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    8. https://investor-relations.lufthansagroup.com/en/meldungen/financial-news/investor-relations-financial-news/datum/2018/03/15/lufthansa-group-erzielt-bestes-ergebnis-der-unternehmensgeschichte.html

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    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. could be, then my bad. didn't check the figures, but bought it from one swiss employee to whom i talked to last week.

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    11. @ Petar Celik: unlike EY LH will never buy AZ in its current state but as an restructured company- unlike EY LH has a deep understanding the aviation business.

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    12. AZ's 12 unions is the nut that no one was able to crack so far.

      anyhow, LH corporate structure must be crazy with all of these airlines. so i made a mistake on swiss, but i doubt they will allow themselves to do something in balkans with everything else going on.

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    13. @10:02 LH je toliko unistila malih kompanija da ocito nemaju dobar uvid u aviosaobracaj vec duboke dzepove nemackih kompanija koje im placaju biznis karte.

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    14. Sure, Volkswagen for exapmle made a profit of 14 billion EUR last year- although paying the expensive tickets at LH - and this is just one of a houndred thousend German companies making record profits. So they can allow themselves to buy expensive LH tickets, which of course helps LH..

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    15. All LH Network carriers are pure money makers. Also OS last year made a 94 mill EUR positive EBIT result (56 mill EUR the year before that) - they are nowhere near the reds except in Q1 of course.

      OU as a full LH network carrier group member would surely also be making positive results in the mid and long-term.

      Regarding financial expertise in aviation business LH is the biggest genius worldwide

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  7. samo nemojte Lufti.

    IAG ... they could close their Balkan black hole in their network

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    1. Vueling operated by OU?

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    2. Air Lingus is not Vueling

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    3. Vueling is not Aer Lingus but both are IAG ;)

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  8. How much do they plan to sell?

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    1. It depends, if it's someone from outside EU they can sell 49% if it's inside EU they can sell up to 100% but I think they would sell around 50%

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  9. Bogu hvala da se napokon riješimo barem jednog sisača državne sise. To ne treba prodati nego pokloniti Lufthansi i još im platiti da ih uzmu.

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    1. Same scenario as Adria's.

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  10. Croatia Airlines is now in a much better position than a couple of years ago and with a little effort I think they could find a strategic partner.

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    1. Network wise they are doing well. But financially the profit has been generated through asset sales. Anyone who wants to buy Croatia Airlines will look at their books are realize that immediately.

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    2. again, 2016 was a "clear year" (no asset sales) and they showed profit

      however OU definetly doesn't have money to pay for some extra items, like engine repairs as we saw, not to mention they will most likely be short of money to pay for neos

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    3. Net loss for OU in 2018 (Q1):

      https://www.tportal.hr/biznis/clanak/croatia-airlines-u-prvom-tromjesecju-s-gubitkom-od-84-5-milijuna-kuna-foto-20180427

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  11. Lufthansa/Eurowings will eventually take over OU.

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    1. Well, if it's indeed Lufthansa that is behind 4K and Adria, as some claim, then Adria is going buy Croatia.

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    2. JP and OU together would be a stronger and more competitive company.

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    3. 4k could do another darwin scenario with OU :)

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    4. Lol. In that case LJU can almost close as that airline would build a hub in ZAG and LJU had only a few P2P routes left.

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  12. I think the government as an owner is not a good thing. OU definitely needs a change so this is a good development.

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  13. So now they probably won't name a new CEO because they plan to sell the company anyway.

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  14. In the long run I do think OU needs a partner.

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  15. Perhaps they can pitch OU to Hainan. It was interested in them after all.

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    1. Hainan has paused foreign acquisitions at the moment.

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    2. i was thinking the same, because of their own crisis at the moment, but in march they were awarded to run some airport in bulgaria

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    3. Asian carrier would be best for OU. The government should do more to secure a sale to them.

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    4. Anything other than a European airline would be good for OU because it eliminates the possibility of them being a feeder.

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    5. If they are bought by another, huger airline, then of course primarily as a feeder. What else?

      Mihael

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  16. Wasn't TK interested?

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    1. They denied this just last week:

      Turkish Airlines has previously been linked to a potential takeover of its fellow Star Alliance member Croatia Airlines, however, the carrier has denied such claims. "Such speculation is incorrect. We have a very professional partnership with Croatia Airlines which we will continue to nurture in the future", Mr Cantimur said.

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/04/turkish-airlines-plans-third-croatia.html

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  17. Ma nema tu kruha.
    Mikro P2P kompanije ne mogu opstat.

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  18. I do believe the company "from Greece" Doncic is referring to is in fact Aegean.

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    1. Aegean+Croatia Airlines would have been a strong company.

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    2. Recept kako da od dobre napravis losu aviokompaniju.

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    3. I'd like Aegean too. As OU serves 90% routes towards the North, no risk to become a feeder.

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  19. The real test for Croatia Airlines is 2018 in terms of profitability. There are no more assets other than planes which I doubt they will sell. So it will be interesting to see the real financial performance this year. That said, I don't necessarily think they need to be privatised. They just need a smart management in place.

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  20. What did happen with Garuda? They went publicly on record to say that they wanted to buy OU. They even outlined some plans for the company... and then nothing.

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    Replies
    1. Garuda isn't a well run airline either.

      Mihael

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  21. Za mjesec, dva, opet ce izjaviti da nema prodaje jer je to strateska firma. I to je sve maslo vlade koja nema nikakvu strategiju ni za sto.

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    1. The government really has to cut the cake and decide what to do with OU and not flip flop every other year as the administration changes.

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    2. Da, ali to ce biti samo izgovor. Pravi razlog je lezi u tome sto niko nije zainteresovan za OU.

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    3. Zato što Vlada RH ne zna kako prodati kompaniju. Trebali bi doslovno moliti kompanije po svijetu da kupe OU ako je već žele prodati.

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  22. I don't understand why it is that hard to get interest for OU.

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    1. Government red tape in general... this is not unique to OU but is the biggest hurdle in companies looking to invest in Croatia

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  23. The OU privatisaion saga continues.

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    1. Colloquially known as Jatovanje.

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    2. Also known as Croatovanje.

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    3. Also known as ukrao si mi bombone, e sad cu ja tebi autic. Grow up, kids.

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    4. A never ending story. And a sad one.

      Mihael

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  24. So could we finally see Croatia Airlines privatization completed in 2018?

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    1. Completed in 2018 and they did not even start with actual steps? It will be good if they start by the end of the year.

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  25. They must act on doing something with their fleet. It is becoming older and older. The Airbus fleet is now almost 20 yrs. Yes, the neos are coming but that's only 4 of them. A strategic partner would definitely help here. They don't have the funds to finance a fleet modernization on their own.

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  26. If 6 companies were interested in OU like the ex-minister says, then it was such a missed opportunity not to start talks with at least one.

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  27. Same old story, same old story. They are repeating the same thing and nothing comes out of it.

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  28. I’m all for privatisation but I’ll think things would get worse before they get better for OU especially for the employers it it does get privatised.

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  29. A right investor with a vision could do wonders with the company. I think OU has a lot of potential.

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    1. Going for them is that market in Zagreb and at the coast is very strong. Croatian tourism is booming. Something Aegean capitalized on big time and OU didn't. Their market share is not what it should be and it's very seasonal in nature (which can also be said for Greece as well but Aegean seem to have solved it).

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  30. I think the Croatian government should organise an international tender and see who is interested in Croatia Airlines.

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    1. They already did that 3 years ago and no one applied.

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    2. Circumstances have changed. Back then OU was still in restructuring.

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    3. Actually I think it is much smarter to go into direct talks with companies. Especially in Asia where many don't take part in tenders but try to make a deal through direct talks.

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    4. Three years ago OU had assets, the list is much shorter now.

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    5. With unions threatening to strike every 6 months... I think it pits off any possible investors.

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    6. Like Serbian, Croatian government failed to failed to sell OU 5-10 years ago by asking for too much money. Small airline business are often worth less then their asset base. Now they probably have to pay some one to take it of their hands, like JU, like JP

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  31. They should have started the first year after restructuring ready with a new owner and fresh capital.

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    1. AnonymousAugust 15, 2017 at 10:43 AM
      Kind of difficult to find an interested investor while you are restructuring and trying to avoid bankruptcy. You can do it after you have successfully restructured.

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  32. OU will eventually join Lufthansa. But I bet LH will not pay a cent for it just like Etihad didn't for Air Serbia or 4K for Adria.

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    1. Officially Etihad did pay 40 mil$ for 49 percent stake. Loan conversation.

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  33. If OU is bought by another airline it would definitely increase competition in the region and could reduce fares.

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  34. Had there been so much interest why didn't anyone apply for the tender when OU was being sold the first time around. Or why didn't the minister complete the sale if there was so much interest?

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  35. Who in their right mind will want to buy 49% (!!!!) of stakes in anything... If I invest money into something I want to have a right to vote for decision making in that project... What do they think, someone will give money and step aside?!

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    1. To se resava ugovorom u kome se tacno odredjuje ko sa cime upravlja, ali ne vredi sad da ti objasnjavam detalje nepoznate celom Balkanu gde se ne postuju manjinska prava vlasnika deonica. Zasto npr ni jedna lokalna berza ne funkcionise?

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    2. Etihad has 49 percent stake but still runs JU and makes huge profit out of it.

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  36. 4k will purchase OU in 2019 and incorporate almost whole company into new entity (do not know name for the time, but IATA code should be JP). First clue should be opening base for JP in Pula, and then in Rijeka most probably in November this year. There are possibility to keep the name and call sign of Adria.

    ATCO

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    1. Bolt on YM and it's truly Adriatic

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    2. Again with this Pula base nonsense, stop spreading fake news, please.

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    3. What a load of BS

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    4. It would be good for both Slovenia and Croatia (but, doubt it). Montenegro is not an EU member and won't become one for a long time.

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  37. Eurowings Adria is being born as we speak. Just watch and enjoy.

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    1. Znaci onda LH nista zaista ne zna o aviosabracaju. To je samo pravljenje jos jedne gubitaske kompanije pored Eurowingsa. Ne dolazi ti u glavu da nisu uspeli sa Germanwingsom pa presli na Eurowings pa ce sad jos od tri male kompanije da prave vecu kompaniju. Svi prave gubitke vise od deset godina.

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    2. You’re right, Lufthansa will never buy Adria nor Croatia, despite what majority think. Market is irrelevant, yields are low and LH unions will hardly allow OU and JP integration into Eurowings. There’s only two options for OU, JP and alike - turn into successful niche carrier (with or without strategic partner) or struggle and bust.

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    3. LH will eventually establish Eurowings bases in lower cost countries and operate all poor to/from poor/rich country routes that way. They won't be able to do much about rich-rich routes.
      again another example of convergence, in this case with Wizz, which i believe has only few bases outside East Europe (Luton is one).

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  38. Just get western based management and IPO it somewhere in Europe. Then you’ll see growth as well as increasing value for shareholders as a priority.
    Be a completely different ball game.

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  39. Meanwhile Croatia Airlines bought 50 books recently wrote by guess who? Jasmin Bajic, Croatia Airlines CEO.

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  40. How many LHR slots remain?

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