Aegean Airlines confirms Croatia Airlines bid


Greece’s largest carrier, Aegean Airlines, has officially confirmed reports it has expressed interest in the acquisition of Croatia Airlines and submitted a non-binding bid. Aegean, which is a fellow member of the Star Alliance group, said in a statement, "Any significant decision on whether or not the company is likely to participate in the next phase of the privatisation process will be taken in the coming months, following the provision of information and discussions, in accordance with the procedure set by the Republic of Croatia". The next phase of the process is expected to involve the government announcing a tender for the submission of binding bids and setting out the amount of shares it is willing to sell in the company. It previously noted it would offer a stake of up to 70%.

Aegean Airlines participated in the previous attempt to privatise Croatia Airlines back in 2015. It entered into the second round of talks with then privatisation advisors International Finance Corporation, however, a change in government in Croatia put an end to the company’s privatisation drive. As an airline registered in the European Union, Aegean can purchase a majority stake in its Croatian counterpart. The two carriers share a similar fleet structure, with both operating Airbus A320-family jets and Dash 8 turboprops. Furthermore, both have A320neo aircraft on order, with Aegean taking delivery of its first jet of the type recently. However, the similarities between the two mostly end there. Aegean has been continuously profitable since 2013, recording a 67.9 million euro profit last year. It employed some 2.700 people in 2018, carried 13.9 million passengers and registered an average cabin load factor 83.9% with a fleet of 63 aircraft.


The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, previously said the government would avoid concluding a similar privatisation agreement to the one its Slovenian counterparts made with Germany’s 4K Invest over the sale of the now- bankrupt Adria Airways. “We don’t want such a strategic partnership, where state interests and services of importance to Croatia would not be safeguarded”, Mr Butković said. He warned that Croatia Airlines could face a similar scenario to that of Adria if this privatisation process failed. “If we are unable to find a strategic partner and the process is unsuccessful, such a scenario is possible. However, I am certain we will find the best possible solution to stabilise Croatia Airlines and enable it to grow. Croatia, as a country dependent on tourism, needs a national carrier. We are not in the same situation as Slovenia. Adria Airways was a privately-owned company and, as a result, the state was limited in its ability to provide financial assistance. Furthermore, we can’t put the two companies on an equal footing in terms of the size of the market and volume of operations”, the Minister said.




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    There could be some really exciting times ahead for the region if Aegean buys a stake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Petar09:03

      It would be the ideal airline to invest in OU and turn it around into something successful!
      Lets hope that the government and the unions don't chase them away.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      What kind of fleet could OU have under Aegean? Airbus? CRJ?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:39

      Considering Aegean operates A320/321s and Q400s, I think it will be similar to what it has now. Although an A321 would come in handy during the summer.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:12

      Thank you, Anon 09:39! A321 could definitely work during summer, maybe even for ZAG-DBV/SPU!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:16

      If they buy OU, I'd like them to rebrand the company and call it "Croatia regional"!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:21

      Yeah easier said than done. Aegean has only 11 A321s and a huge seasonal network, which means that they use every possible aircraft during the summer. I dont see that working out unless they actually order more of them

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:30

      Aegean is still waiting for delivery of Airbuses they ordered. OU as well.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:32

      ^Aegean got its first A320neo last week.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:51

      Do we know what type of engines OU selected for its NEOs?

      Delete
    10. For the a320neo they chose Pratt and Whitney 1127G-JM,logically Pratt and Whitney for the a321neo also.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous18:50

      Great, like Aegean.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous18:33

      They will buy it, strip it and use the assests for Greek operations.

      Like Adria, OU is too close to giants like LH and OS and EJU. I cant see OU being turned around to become more competitive on the market unless they ryanair it and even then i have doubts.

      Not in kansas anymore, pride to keep a national airline has shown its limit. HR Gov money needs to be invested in so many other things...

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    What do you people think Aegean will do with OU if it becomes majority owner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Fist think they should do is fire the current OU managers and get competent people in.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:07

      Well it also depends on what LH will say, Aegean relies on them quite a bit for global coverage so they will not risk their relationship for OU. What I see happening is Aegean investing in OU and making them a regional feeder for Star Alliance carriers. So we could maybe see OU fly routes like:

      ZAG-ATH-JMK
      ZAG-MUC-KRK
      ZAG-VIE-NUE

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:10

      ^ Yeah sure. Aegean really needs Croatia Airlines to fly Athens - Mykonos. Give me a break.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:11

      Actually I do believe Aegean is interested in acquiring OU with the full support of Lufthansa.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:17

      Anon 09.10 and you think Aegean, an airline with over 13 million passengers and a growing hub needs OU for more than to turn into a regional feeder? They probably want OU because of lower costs. Please don't think they will turn ZAG into some mega hub, they have Athens for that.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:20

      Sure. I also remember reading comments here how Etihad will somehow turn Air Serbia into a feeder with 5 routes. Give it up.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:23

      Etihad created a mess at JU and the airline only started to thrive once EY was out of the picture. Just because a foreign investor is coming doesn't mean good times are coming as well. Remember that Aegean purchased many local airlines only to shut them down or to absorb them, not to expand them. Aegean is a great airline but they are also a predator.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:26

      Haven't we learned a lesson in Croatia from all wondeful privatization process that foreigeners don't care about Croatian worker, they see Croatia as a way to increase their profits. Why would Aegean be different? Aegean will probably getting tax cuts which Croatian entrepreneurs will have to cover by paying full taxes.

      Delete
    9. Keep Calm and visit Dalmatia10:08

      @Anon at 09:26
      Lets hope that what you all say is all true!
      Hopefully A3 or anyone else wont care about OU's unions and their lazy members!
      Hopefully they see Croatia as a country where they can make profits instead of loses!
      Hopefully they will be getting tax cuts in order to invest and grow the airline!
      Hopefully A3, all investors and Croatian entrepreneurs will get tax cuts paid by less government spending on state owned enterprises and to their overpaid, overstaffed and under-worked workforce!

      What you dear is music to the ears of every reasonable person who lives in the 21st century instead of the 1960s.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous10:13


      For starters, let's hope Aegean will buy OU! :)

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:02

    Bravo Hrvatska!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    How much could a 70% stake fetch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      I'm guessing Aegean will give some guarantee of investing in OU and taking over obligations for A320neo order. I don't think it will be a fixed sum.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      If the Croatian government is smart they will ask 100 Kunas for OU.

      Delete
    3. Dejan09:17

      If the Croatian government is smart they would pay to get rid of OU!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:34

      Agree with Dejan, get rid of OU for good!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:19

      Why? It brings a lot to the Croatian economy.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:03

    And people commenting here were saying how it is not possible because it wasn't published in Greek media and that it was being made up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      Don't get too excited or arrogant. Read what is written in the text above, it's a non binding stage when Aegean is simply looking at what is being offered. The situation is still uncertain.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:05

      I'm neither excited nor arrogant. Read the comments left on the linked article.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:08

      +1
      Yes, there wasn't published during a holiday and somehow it was a lie!
      Some people are so desperate...

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:18

      Anon 09.08 are you implying that anyone who questions anything regarding OU is so desperate? I thought this was a portal where we discuss aviation.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:21

      Someone is nervous...

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:26

      Nope, just realistic.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:42

      Your "realism" Anon 03:26 was shot down by Aegean on Friday morning.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:55

      You do realize that this is a non binding process? It's basically the same Garuda and a thousand others did until now and nothing became of it. Each time there was so much optimism and excitement on hre when similar news were announced and nothing happened in the end.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:18

      Did it happen (before now) that Aegean confirmed their interest in OU, and informed Greek stock market about it? It sounds a bit more serious this time, but we'll have to wait and see. Hope the government will be smart enough to let OU go!

      Delete
    10. Anonymous10:34

      @Anon 09:55
      You do realize that this is the non binding part of the process?
      That is what A3 or Air Nostrum can apply for now and that is what they did.
      Try to read their announcement. They are following the process set by the Government.

      Delete
    11. Good morning guys, I am the guy from Greece and I have to set the record straight. I didn't write that Aegean will not buy Croatia airlines I just wrote that the media of country didn't write anything in the morning instead they announced it at 18:00 pm the same day. Personally I don't mind at all if Aegean airlines will take over Croatia airlines, it's 100 % a private company and EARN or LOSE it's their own money. Neither me or any other Greek citizen (taxpayers) have to pay anything for their mistakes. Have a nice day to all!

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:06

    Let's not forget that Air Nostrum is in the game too. Who knows, they might have an even better offer or plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      I really doubt that's possible given they are a regional airline half the size of Aegean.

      Delete
    2. Dejan09:11

      Yes but A3's company style and know how is far more suited for OU than Air Nostrum who is basically an ACMI provider for Iberia.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:12

      I agree with Dejan and I fear there primary purpose for purchasing OU would be to make it into an ACMI carrier as well.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:35

      Is it still possible for other carriers to apply?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:38

      I think that the privatization advisers have held talks with a few interested airlines and these two are the ones to have expressed interest. But when they launch the tender, any airline will be able to apply. At least that's my understanding.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:23

      Think so, too, thank you, Anon 09:38! Is it possible that Aegean asked for "permission" from Mama Lufty?

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:07

    I find it interesting that they want to purchase Croatia Airlines yet they don't even have a codeshare agreement with them and compete against them on a few routes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:11

    wow almost 68 million euros net profit for them last year. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:13

    This is fantastic news for Croatia Airlines. Let's hope there talks with the government and eventual tender turn out to be successful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:13

    Light at the end of the tunnel for OU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Let's just hope that the light is the exit and not an incoming train.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:20

      ^ Don't think so.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:15

    I do wonder how OU could develop under A3? Long haul maybe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Aegean doesn't even operate medium-haul flights from Athens so I don't think they will launch long-haul from a much smaller market that in recent times struggled in keeping long-haul airlines.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:16

    That June 2020 deadline is now looking more realistic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:25

      Yes, I think we will finally have a solution for OU by then.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:16

    Well if we are left with Aegean and Air Nostrum to battle it out for a stake in OU that's quite a good result.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:17

    Thank goodness the government came to their senses and won't go for pension funds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Don't speak too soon. That's their backup.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:21

    A3 needs to half the OU workforce. Lots of cousins and friends will need to be fired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      +1

      Delete
    2. Petar09:33

      +1000
      If they are smart they will force the government to take a large part of the current workforce.
      And instead hire people based on what they know about the job instead of who they know or who's cousin and girlfriend they are.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:34

      And you think unions will just accept that? What deal will they strike with them in order to accept Aegean's terms?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:51

      To my knowledge collective agreements were signed earlier this year for 3 year period. So Aegean can't change that.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:11

      @Anonymous 09:34
      Get transferred to other state jobs.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:28

    Aegean has many LHR flights, maybe we see daily flights back from ZAG?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:33

      Would be nice although I don't think they will be just giving away their slots. They have them for a reason.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:28

    So what is making OU interesting for them? What assets do they have left?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      Maybe they see as an opportunity to make money. They operate in a similar, competitive and seasonal environment just like Croatia Airlines.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:36

      I'd say mostly tourism, Croatia has had excellent numbers for the last few years, still rising!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:30

      I think the base idea is that A3 has developed very efficient practices operating in a highly seasonal country that's quite spread out with lots of popular tourist destination airports, but relatively poor alternative transport routes between them. Croatia is such a country. They think they might be able to take the airline over for minimal expense (1EUR?), spend some money restructuring it, and then make profit - which might well be cheaper than starting in Croatia from scratch.

      I hope they take over OU. Pain is to be expected initially, but it could work very well and grow the network and improve services while actually being profitable. A3 have the perfect intellectual capital for the task!

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:33

    Let's hope the unions don't muck this one up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:37

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:50

      Why would they muck it up? They will only fight for their rights if the Greeks plan to somehow diminish them, which I doubt.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:14

      The Unions will fight so that they will continue to work the same way they do now as government employees who are protected by the state however lazy or incompetent they can be.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:21

      Don't put the management and a lot of hardworking people in the same boat.

      Delete
    5. Bravo @An.14.21
      Pilots, engineers, cabin crew, ground personnel, are hard working people with knowledge, skills, and experience, who work day and night, working days and holidays, in all weather conditions and under lot of stress, and they have full right to be organised in unions. Salaries of these people are under EU average and they work full hours even overtime. The problem is in Buzin, in the castle built for uhljebs who do nothing for huge salaries and are in hundreds, led by totally incompetent management. Buzin is the place where new owner, if happens, should and will do the cuts, not in operations part.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:40

    Well one thing A3 knows, which OU management doesn't seem to know is how to fight for your own market and make the most of it. Last year A3 operated a sizable number of charters from the Croatian coast during the winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      Yes and this winter they lost the contract to the Turks. Seems like everyone can get that contract except OU. I would laugh if it wasn't so tragic.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      SMFH!
      How can the Greeks base aircrafts and crews in Dalmatia and fly them profitable and OU couldn't?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:01

      Don't forget the Turks.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:05

      Because A3 is a properly managed company. Unlike every single Croatian one.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:45

    This is a very positive development for Croatia Airlines. I hope for the best.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:47

    "It employed some 2.700 people in 2018, carried 13.9 million passengers with a fleet of 63 aircraft"

    So Aegean has basically the same number of employees as JU but it transports 6 times more passengers!
    WOW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:56

      What has JU got to do with today's topic?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:08

      It shows what a bloated workforce it has, just like OU.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:16

      ^**
      Exactly Anon 10:08.
      What is true for JU is also true for OU, for YM and it was also true for JP.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:39

      It's just annoying that no matter what JU has to be brought into the discussion. What he should have done is compared A3's workforce to the OU one since that's the topic today. You can bash JU when the topic is about them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:28

      BTW, JU doesn't have 2700 employees...

      Delete
    6. Anonymous01:44

      With Creative accounting can do miraculous . You can operate 63 aircraft with no employees at all. Pretty soon without aircraft at all.
      So please do not take for granted all what is listed on the spread sheets .
      outsourcing , subcontracting, lease ....or just look what is listed for tax examinations before you have real numbers that is need to run businesses.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:58

    Bravo Hrvatska! A3 made history and managed to thrive for perfection. We all know what happened to Olympic before A3 came in.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:03

    It would be nice to reshape CTN into something successful but CTN is in 2020 in much worse shape than it was in 2015.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:09

      I wonder if OU would sell LHR slots if it knew A3 would show interest.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:10

      So are they planning TGD and SOF only because of privatization to come across as better run than they really are?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:39

      Yes I'm sure them introducing Sofia and Podgorica is what will make it or break it for Aegean Airlines.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:15

    Every atempt to sell and reform OU is positive, however the past shows that reforming this carrier is very hard. Last restructuring led to 1 aircraft less, and even more employees at the end of the 'restructuring'.

    Best option for OU, and it would only work if the government supports this, seperate the maintance department from the carrier, to move all the support departments to A3 (sales, marketing, customer support, etc), and have only the operational departments in Zagreb (crew, operations). Ground crew and handling should be outsourced, which will eventually show to be much more affordable. Government should make agreements with A3 about minimum required connectivity.

    You would still have 12 aircrafts, and around 250 employees, instead of the current 1.000, and have at least the same connectivity. This way there is a chance that OU could survive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:25

      Bravo, Anon 10:15! Strange how Air Nostrum didn't give any statements, the way Aegean did.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:25

      Because the media in Greece started questioning about these reports and they decided to issue a statement, whereas in Spain they couldn't care less.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:22

      Aegean is listed on the stock exchange, so they needed to make a statement to stop speculation and uncertainty. Air Nostrum is not a public company and therefore doesn't have that need.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous12:14

    Really looking forward to see how this develops.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous14:21

    With 70% stake they can kick out the current management.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:24

      They would be mad to keep current management in place.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous14:22

    Fantastic news!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous14:23

    This could be the start of something good :) hope it works out.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bravo Balkan16:16

    If Aegean wants to expand more in the Balkans why do they not just base a few planes in ZAG? And then expand from there? Are the assets of OU worth the risk of investing in Croatia? Would they use OU network to feed Athens? How much can the slots that OU owns be worth? Would Aegean get ownership of these slots?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous17:20

    Bravo Grcka!

    ReplyDelete

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