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Turkish Airlines eyes offer for LOT


Turkish Airlines (TA) has confirmed that it is contemplating a bid for PLL LOT, Poland’s flag-carrier majority-owned by the government, whose privatisation is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

On 20 January the Board of Directors of the Turkish flag-carrier authorised its executive committee "to start a preliminary examination in order to understand the privatisation process and investment potential about Poland’s national airline, LOT", TA said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange on 21 January. The group added that the move was in line with its mid-term growth strategy, which involves pursuing investment opportunities globally.

TA, in which the Turkish government holds a 49% stake, has expanded dynamically in recent years, growing its fleet by nearly 40% to 180 aircraft.

LOT, in which the Ministry of the Treasury has a 93% interest, is scheduled to be privatised by the end of 2012, though the exact size of the stake to be sold is yet to be determined. Because the company is on a list of strategically important companies, a law change would be needed to sell more than 50% of its shares.

Magdalena Kobos, a spokeswoman for the ministry, told the Financial Times that there was one more potential bidder for LOT, a publicly-listed company that preferred to remain anonymous.

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