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Three Purchased Documents in Montenegro Airlines Sale

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Etihad Airways from the United Arab Emirates, El Al Israel Airlines and Arkia Israel Airlines, have purchased the documents in a tender to buy 30 percent in Montenegro Airlines, Montenegro’s Deputy Finance Minister said.

The state owns 99.88 percent of its flagship carrier and is offering the minority stake along with an option to increase the holding in two years, as well as broad management rights, Ivan Petrovic said in a phone interview. The tender closes Dec. 15.

Montenegro Airlines operates eight aircraft with a total of 869 seats and flies to 16 destinations. Last year, it had 60 million euros in revenue and a negative Ebitda of 1.18 million euros, according to the tender documents.

“We’re satisfied with Montenegro Airlines’ performance considering the global crisis,” Petrovic said. “But it’s good to have a private owner who will further develop and expand the company. We don’t believe that states make good owners of airlines.”

Montenegro didn’t set a minimum price for the 30 percent stake, while the government’s Privatization Council has valued the entire company at 25.68 million euros, he said.

Montenegro Airways, which employs some 400, has code-sharing agreements with Slovenia’s Adria Airways, Serbia’s JAT Airways and with the Austrian Airlines. It carried nearly 519,000 passengers last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Crosby at acrosby1@bloomberg.net

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