Qatar Airways announced Tuesday its intention to acquire up to 10 percent of Latin America’s largest airline LATAM Airlines, in a $613 million deal that requires the consent of existing shareholders at the Chile-based carrier.
The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Air Show in England, by both airlines’ CEOs.
“LATAM represents an exciting opportunity to invest and support the development of our long-term relationship. 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,” said His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways.
“We are proud to announce Qatar Airways as a new shareholder of LATAM, reaffirming our bond as existing members of the Oneworld alliance. This investment recognizes LATAM’s achievements and supports our project for the future. In addition to strengthening our financial position, it will allow us to explore new opportunities for connectivity with Asia and the Middle East, as well as other potential areas of cooperation,” said Enrique Cueto, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.
The deal follows Qatar Airways’ purchase last year of 15 percent of British Airways owner International Airlines Group, which like Qatar and LATAM is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
The move is part of a rapid global expansion by the Doha-based airline, which is due to talk to Italian carrier Meridiana later on Tuesday about the proposed purchase of a 49 percent stake.
The two airlines said they had signed a subscription agreement that provides for Qatar Airways to acquire up to 10 percent of LATAM’s total shares following a capital increase.
LATAM must hold an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting by Sept. 2 to propose a capital increase of $613 million through the issuance of new shares at $10 per share, the companies said in a statement.