Arik, Aero Turn Investors Choiced Air-Operators
Many local and international investors are showing interest in investing in Arik Air and Aero Contractors, our correspondent has learnt.
It was gathered that since the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria made it known that it planned to divest its shares in the airlines, there had been a lot of interests from investors within and outside the country.
The Head, Corporate Communications, AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, however, told The PUNCH that the corporation had yet to get a good offer for the transaction.
“We need to get a good offer and reach an agreement before we can say we have concluded the transaction and this takes a long process,” he said.
“It takes a long process for an investor to do due diligence before investing but there are interests,” he added.
He said the corporation was working on finding the right investors before concluding the process of divesting from the airlines.
The Managing Director of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, had said a few months ago that the corporation was sitting on a substantial amount of assets, 90 per cent of which was in the aviation sector, and which must one way or the other be resolved on or before its sunset around 2023/24.
“We will deal with some of those key assets very soon like the Peugeot Nigeria Limited in Kaduna, CDL, Aero Contractors, Arik Air and a host of others,” he had said.
AMCON took over Aero Contractors and Arik Air in February 2016 and February 2017, respectively, over their debt profile and appointed receiver management, adding that the airlines would not be returned to their original owners until they cleared their indebtedness to the corporation.
The corporation had made it known that its intervention in Arik and Aero were intended to be value adding and non-destructive.
Nwauzor, however, told our correspondent that the airlines’ operations had since been stabilised with on-time performances and put in positions to generate positive cash flow.
“We have stabilised the airlines, which is why they are still flying. Right now, what we are looking at is growth and then our exit,” he said.