18 JULY 2016
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Confirming its intention to “expand business opportunities around the world”, Qatar Airways is buying a 49% stake in the Italian carrier Meridiana and is to acquire up to 10% of the Chile-based Latam Airline Group’s total shares through a capital increase.
The deals were announced at Farnborough by Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker.
No price has yet been put on the Meridiana agreement, which Al Baker said is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions before the closing, which is planned for early October.
Meridiana is the second largest carrier in Italy, with an extensive national and European network connecting the main Italian airports with Sardinia and providing connectivity with hubs in Europe as well as in the U.S. and Africa.
Al Baker said the Latam deal, which will see US$613m injected into the airline, “represents an exciting opportunity to invest and support the development of our long-term relationship”.
He added: “As a leading airline in Latin America, and key member of oneworld, this investment provides potential opportunities for Qatar Airways’ global network, alongside our successful investment in IAG.”
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