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Ceturtdiena 27.10.2016 | Name days: Lilita, Irita, Ita

Ventbunkers and airBaltic begin investment attraction talks

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn response to Ventbunkers’ earlier announcement regarding the readiness to invest in airBaltic, the first talks between the two companies were held on Thursday, 17 December.

During talks, both sides agreed to consider different cooperation models and come back to talks later. No specific investment amounts were discussed during the first talk with airBaltic, as reported by Ventbunkers.

«I am happy that Ventbunkers’ offer was heard by airBaltic. We have offered them an alternative option to help airBaltic consider and pick the most beneficial investor offer,» – comments Ventbunkers board member Edgars Ciniņš.

Explaining Ventbunkers’ interest in airBaltic, Ciniņš said that this decision was previously discussed in detail by the company’s shareholders. It was not made spontaneously. In order to avoid creating a potential scandal regarding Ventbunkers’ possible investments in airBaltic, the management decided not to announce it too early. However, the hand was forced by the collapse of the ruling government in Latvia.

«Since the country is currently ruled by a political mess, we have decided to voice our offer and extend a helping hand and financial resources to assist airBaltic with its development. Aviation is highly valued around the world, and we view it as a business perspective. Nevertheless, it is not the main reason why we have decided to make this offer. We do not want to get involved in this industry at any cost. We are prepared to consider different cooperation options, including investment into airBaltic in parallel to the contribution of the German investor as long as our efforts help airBaltic develop and grow in the future,» – he explained.

Ventbunkers’ audited results for 2014 show that even in spite of the tense situation in Latvia’s transit industry, the company has managed to maintain stable positions on the market. The company’s successes are also reflected in financial indexes. In 2014, Ventbunkers’ company turnover reached EUR 54 million. The company’s clean revenue was nearly EUR 17 million, which is one of the largest in Ventbunkers’ history.

That year, Ventbunkers handled a total of 2.4 million tons of oil products. Ventbunkers also paid more than EUR 3.4 million in state, municipal and social taxes. Last year, Ventbunkers was also recognized as the largest taxpayers in Ventspils.

The company also plans to finish 2015 with good financial results. It is also planned to contribute a lot to state and municipal budgets in the form of paid taxes, notes Ventbunkers.

BNN had previously reported that Ventbunkers has expressed readiness to invest in the country’s national airBaltic airline. Ventbunkers has asked Air Baltic Corporation’s CEO Martin Gauss and Transport Ministry to discuss this investment option.

«Ventbukers, as one of the largest companies in Latvia with stable financial footing, is interested in discussing investment opportunities with airBaltic. Ventbunkers’ economic indexes for the past year demonstrate successful results. We are now prepared to go further. I believe it is important to support local companies to give them the opportunity to grow, develop and create new jobs in Latvia. With that and in spite of the already launched investor attraction process, we as prepared to provide the airline with all the necessary support and discuss investment opportunities for airBaltic’s development,» – comments Eva Cinina, Chairperson of the Board of Ventbunkers.

As it is known, the Latvian government has decided to exclude the procurement of Russian Sukhoi aircraft from airBaltic’s business plan. The government has also approved the decision to appoint Montag Girmes as the airline’s investor.

Saeima has also agreed to allocate a loan of EUR 80 million to airBaltic.

At the same time the Saeima has decided to prohibit airBaltic and its subsidiaries from procuring, leasing or using products made by military industrial complexes facing international sanctions.

It has also been decided to approve German businessman Frank Dieter Montag Girmes as airBaltic’s investor. He has agreed to invest EUR 52 million in the airline as long as the Latvian state invests EUR 80 million. The airline’s combined capital of EUR 132 million would contribute to modernization of the fleet and development of the business plan.


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