Business News

Adria Airways Looking for Strategic Investor

Ljubljana, 15 December (STA) - Flag carrier Adria Airways is embarking on debt restructuring aimed at making the company fit enough to be interesting for a foreign investor, president of the board of directors Maks Tajnikar has told the STA.

The majority state-owned Adria has financial liabilities of EUR 86m, including from loans taken out a decade ago which were repeatedly extended, and owes about EUR 30m to suppliers.

A restructuring program will be drafted shortly and the company will try to reach agreement with creditors by the end of the year, Tajnikar said late on Tuesday.

"We are in a bind: do we also try to sort out some older things...or do we leave that be, in which case Adria does not have very bright prospects," Tajnikar said.

He said management was working hard to consolidate the company to the extent that it will be fit for a strategic partner.

Several airlines are said to be interested in Adria.

Business daily Finance has reported that the government is looking to sell it to Qatar Airways and various reports have also mentioned fellow Star Alliance members Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.

Adria posted a net loss of EUR 13.5m in 2009 on sales that dropped by a fifth to EUR 161.4m. In the first half of this year operating loss stood at EUR 7m.

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