If no contract is signed with the investor Prudentia has found for Latvia’s national airBaltic airline, consequences of that may be rather dramatic for the airline. It may go as far as full business closure, says Prudentia manager Karlis Krastins.
He also claims that it was Prudentia that structured the deal with airBaltic’s financial investor under complicated conditions. This fact should be taken into account, he said. Krastins said Prudentia carried out talks with 63 investors: 25 in Asia and 29 in Europe, Russia and CIS. 5 more investors were talked to in the Near East and 4 – in North America. Two potential investors from Germany had allegedly refused the deal.
The businessman also claims the now former Transport Minister of Latvia Anrijs Matiss spreads disinformation and lies.
In addition, Krastins said maybe Matiss suffers from schizophrenia. Had Matiss continued working as minister and spreading leas, the very existence of airBaltic would have been put at risk.
«Prudentia’s representatives have proven their professionalism through 4.5 years of working with airBaltic. The have managed to resolve what Transport Ministry has not been able to lately. Prudentia was as though the airline’s guardian angel even during Valdis Dombrovskis’ government. It is unique, because usually financial consultants don’t take on such roles. Prudentia knew the extent of responsibility one would have to take in order to save the national airline. It cannot be said Prudentia enjoys the attention, because the general situation in the region is rather dramatic – both SAS and Finnair currently work with losses. The last several years have been good for airBaltic in terms of development. It is now the third consecutive year when the airline works with profit. Aviation investors are not easy to find. It is also tricky to balance out the interests of the involved parties. For example, in ariBaltic’s case it was necessary to balance out the interests of Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry, Budget Law, the investor and airBaltic’s business plan, as well as comply with requirements of the Aviation Law. It’s not like sitting down, having a sip of wine and signing a contract,» – he said.
Prudentia representatives did not deny that the situation with Bombardier deal regarding the procurement of new aircraft had forced parties to intensify work in the past several months. «Bombardier had put considerable pressure,» – admit representatives of the company. It is also added that, airBaltic could even acquire advantages. The EUR 132 million that will be invested in the airline is not an enormous amount of money, considering the national importance of the airline and the fact that the state wishes to retain 80% of stocks. Prudentia wishes politicians will remain responsible in this matter and not follow Matiss’ example. In regards to Matiss, Girts Rungainis noted that a good an strong official has turned into a weak politician.
The investor – German businessman Ralf Montag-Girmes – believes Prudentia has done its job professionally. He says airBaltic, Prudentia and Transport Ministry should now discuss and reach an agreement in regards to commission pay.