South African Airways (SAA) has finalised its bid to acquire a 49% stake in Air Tanzania. The airline has offered $20-million for the shareholding. and has emerged the winner in the closely contested bid process. Of the $20-million, $10-million will go into the 49% share-holding and the other $10-million towards the capital and training account earmarked for the capitalisation of the new company, Air Tanzania Company Limited.
The whole process was facilitated by the Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC), the body responsible for the privatisation of parastatals in the East African country. The PSRC has forwarded its recommendation of the winning bidder, SAA, to the cabinet of the Republic of Tanzania for approval.
The PSRC’s recommendations are still being evaluated by the government. The shareholder’s agreement, including transaction documents will be finalised once the bid process has been concluded.
SAA has never acquired a stake in any airline outside South Africa. Opportunities for SAA to develop in Africa are substantial. The stake in Air Tanzania provides the potential to contribute in the growth of an East African market which has shown potential for growth. The purchase of a stake in ATCL forms a part of SAA’s “Networking Africa” growth strategy, which is also closely aligned to the objectives of the New Partnership for Africa`s Development (NEPAD).
SAA’s Networking Africa strategy envisages close collaboration with a select number of African airlines.
Through the acquisition, SAA intends to establish and develop and a strong East African hub based on a Tanzanian branded and network carrier.
This possible venture marks SAA’s major involvement in the improvement and transformation of the continent’s air travel industry and would be the first ever stake acquisition in an airline outside South Africa.
As the largest carrier in Africa carrier, SAA is working hard to become a leading continental player. The airline has consistently been voted the best airline in Africa.
Some of the most recent awards are:
* Best Airline to Africa by the South African Travel Agents` Association
* Best Airline to Africa by the British Travel Agents
* The Most Outstanding African Airline 2001
* The Best Airline in Africa with the Best Cabin Crew in Africa from Skytrax *
The Best to Fly Business Class to Africa by the US Magazine Business Traveller * The Best Airline to Africa by Travel Weekly Globe awards for the 11th conservative year.