Cyprus Airways near deadline for Olympic bid

Published May 14th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Cyprus Airways was to decide on Monday, May 14, whether to bid for Greek carrier Olympic amid growing speculation of second thoughts at getting entangled in the ailing airline. 

 

Just hours before a Greek government imposed deadline, the board of the Cypriot carrier was meeting in Nicosia with indications its management was feeling unease at the prospect of submitting a bid based on the present information at their disposal 

 

A long board meeting last week where the same issue was discussed was inconclusive. 

"We cannot rule out that a bid may be made, with certain preconditions," chairman Haris Loizides told the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation

 

Sources within the company have expressed reservations on going ahead with a bid now, because of what they perceived was insufficient financial information regarding Olympic — it has only just compiled its 1999 results — and confusion on what the Greek government is actually selling. 

 

Loizides said the company was given information about the financial situation of Olympic for 2000, but there were no official figures. 

 

"The interest is there, but what is important are the best interests of our airline," Loizides said. 

The Greek government plan for the Olympic selloff envisages authorities' assuming the carrier's debt, with the successful bidder taking over a firm with a clean financial slate. 

 

However, such a plan would need approval of the European Union and the Greek government has not yet secured that, newspapers reported on Monday. — (Reuters, Nicosia) 

 

© Reuters 2001

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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