Citigroup Exits Aeromexico While Delta Could Raise Its Stake

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Grupo Aeromexico SAB said Citigroup Inc. sold its remaining 16 percent stake in Mexico’s largest airline by passengers as Delta Air Lines Inc. may buy as much as 8 percent of outstanding shares.

Former Chairman Eduardo Tricio Haro, who stepped aside in April while remaining a director, is among the shareholders acquiring some of the stock, Mexico City-based Aeromexico said in a press release late Sunday.

Barclays Capital Securities Ltd. purchased about 8 percent of the outstanding stock related to a transaction with Delta, which is already a minority Aeromexico holder. Delta President Edward Bastian sits on the board, and the two carriers said in March they were seeking a $1.5 billion venture that would deepen their alliance.

For Citigroup, the transaction unwinds an Aeromexico tie dating to 2007, when the New York-based bank won control of the carrier in a government sale. It helped sell a minority stake in a 2011 initial public offering, then pared its holdings in 2013 with a sale to an investor group led by Tricio, the chairman of dairy producer Grupo Lala SAB.

Shares of Aeromexico rose 4.5 percent to 26.88 pesos Monday at the close in Mexico City. The gain was the biggest in four months.

Aeromexico surged 26 percent this year through Friday, topping the 5.1 percent advance for the benchmark IPC index. That still trailed the 41 percent rally for Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion SAB, the parent of Mexico’s other major publicly traded airline, Volaris.

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