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Airport Operator Confirms Adria Airways Liquidity Deal

Ljubljana, 24 January (STA) - Airport operator Aerodrom Ljubljana confirmed on Monday a deal to acquire a 47.67% stake in flag carrier Adria Airways' maintenance firm Adria Airways Tehnika in return for writing off EUR 2.4m in claims to the ailing carrier.

The supervisory board of Aerodrom Ljubljana gave the go-ahead to the deal struck on Friday as part of a broader liquidity package for the carrier involving the state-owned PDP asset management firm.

Apart from converting its claim into an ownership stake in Adria Airways Tehnika, Aerodrom Ljubljana, which is majority owned by the state, also lifted a claim to regular shares in the maintenance firm as collateral for Adria's debt.

This allows Adria to sell those shares to PDP in return for a EUR 5m liquidity injection needed to keep the struggling carrier flying.

Adria Airways explained that while the deal with Aerodrom Ljubljana did not include an injection of cash, it eliminated the airport operator's claims to Adria and thereby improved its liquidity situation.

Adria Airways has been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy as its debt burden has grown.

Two weeks ago both executive directors resigned and were replaced by new managers as the carrier sought to reach an agreement on a bridging loan with the banks.

Adria chairman Maks Tajnikar explained in announcing the deals with PDP and Aerodrom Ljubljana on Friday that Adria no longer needed the loan.

The liquidity injection is part of PDP's efforts to restructure the carrier before selling it to a strategic partner.

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