Home South African SAA is looking for minority investors and more capital

SAA is looking for minority investors and more capital

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The national state-owned carrier, South African Airways (SAA) is looking for potential minority investors as it reels from an equity deal that collapsed in March.

File picture: David Ritchie, Independent Newspapers

THE NATIONAL state-owned carrier, South African Airways (SAA) is looking for potential minority investors as it reels from an equity deal that collapsed in March.

According to Derek Hanekom, interim chairman at SAA, the carrier is looking not only for investors but is seeking access to capital markets and loan financing for the embattled airline.

Hanekom made these comments while speaking to eNCA, saying that SAA would have to rethink its choices since the collapse of the Takatso deal.

He emphasised that all potential new investors would have to note that the deal to buy into SAA would be a minority share as government wants to maintain its majority stake in the state carrier.

In March, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, said that negotiations for the 51% sale of SAA to the Takatso Consortium would be scrapped.

The failure of the deal has meant that SAA has also had to delay the opening of several international routes that would have seen the carrier travelling to Frankfurt, London and North America.

The chairman said that a capital injection would lead to more expansions but maintained that SAA is growing slowly and at a sustainable rate.

He said that the more money that comes into SAA from investors and capital markets would mean that tax payers would not have to foot so much of the bill to maintain and grow the airline.

“If we are able to get capital from whatever source, then we may be able to expand more rapidly,” Hanekom said.

Hanekom added that SA hopes to grow its fleet from 13 to 21 aircraft in the next financial year and would like to see routes to more African states, Australia and Brazil.

In terms of leadership, the chairman said that SAA is currently looking for more permanent executives.

In early April, SAA opened applications to fill five key executive leadership positions, including the role of chief executive.

The company has high profile executive leadership positions for a chief executive officer (CEO), chief commercial officer (CCO), chief human capital officer (CHCO), a technical CEO and a CEO Airchefs.

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