LAN Airlines to acquire Colombian AIRES

LAN Airlines has confirmed it will acquire the outstanding shares of Colombian airline AIRES, through the purchase of its parent entities.

In a deal worth approximately US$32.5 million, Chilean LAN will acquire the remaining 98.94 per cent of the rival South American carrier.

The acquisition is subject to a due diligence process and compliance with all corresponding regulatory requirements and authorisations, as well as the incorporation of Colombian shareholders into the company.

This process is expected to be completed in 60 days.

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AIRES

AIRES is a Colombian airline founded in 1980 and is currently the second largest operator in the Colombian domestic market with a 22 per cent market share.

The carrier provides scheduled service to 27 domestic destinations within Colombia, as well as three international destinations.

Once the acquisition occurs, AIRES will become an affiliate of LAN Airlines and each company would comply with the foreign ownership and control regulations in each country where they operate.

If the combination with Brazilian airline TAM is successful, AIRES would become part of the new Latin American airline group, LATAM Airlines.

The price LAN will pay will be adjusted according to variations in AIRES’ debt between the value at closing of the transaction and the value as stated in the company’s financial statements as of August 31st, 2010.