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Mexico Is Ready to Close Sale of Airline

From Reuters

The Mexican government was set Friday to close the sale of national airline Aerovias de Mexico (Aeromexico) for $340 million, the state-owned Banobras bank announced.

A statement from the bank, acting as agent for the sale, said papers would be signed Friday by a group of private investors and the government bank Bancomer for 75% of the stock of formerly state-owned Aeromexico.

The sale is part of the government’s program to rid itself of state firms deemed non-vital. The program has resulted in 700 entities being either closed, merged or sold in the last six years out of a total of 1,155 state firms.

The bank did not specify the amount of Bancomer’s stake but said these shares would later be offered to investors in the local market.

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The remaining 25% is being offered to the national pilots union, ASPA, which has yet to close its financing.

The sale price for the airline with its 29-jet fleet was about $340 million, or 770 billion pesos.

The government in April declared Aeromexico bankrupt. It said the carrier was inefficient and was absorbing a subsidy of more than $100 million a year.

Aeromexico planes continued to operate on a provisional basis for five months before the renovated airline was unveiled in October and put up for sale.

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Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry announced the sale of petrochemical firm Tereftalatos Mexicanos, which produces a chemical material used in polyester fabrics and certain plastics.

The government sold 42% of its shares to the firm Petrocel for $104 million, or 242 billion pesos. The World Bank-affiliated International Finance Corp. also sold its 16.9% interest in the firm to Petrocel.

State oil company Petroleos Mexicanos will retain 10% of the firm’s stock.


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