BUSINESS

Chinese investment firm has Cyprus Airways on its radar

Chinese company Beijing Yi Xiang Da Investment Co Ltd is interested in acquiring Cyprus Airways, the island’s national carrier announced on Friday, with an agreement likely to be reached as early as Saturday, Kathimerini Cyprus reports.

The airline, which has gained a respectable share in the Greek domestic market as well in recent years, issued a statement saying that its officials have been in contact with the directors of the Chinese investment firm and has discussed the subject with Finance Ministry agencies.

“Although the signs for a successful completion [of talks] with the company are encouraging, there is no specific agreement to report as yet,” read the Cyprus Airways statement.

Regarding the negotiations, Stavros Stavrou, the airline’s chairman, told Kathimerini Cyprus that “we are going well and we are close to an agreement.” He added that the Chinese are set to give their final response on Saturday: “We shall know whether it is yes or no,” he said, explaining that there is more than one scenario on the table concerning how the buyout will be implemented.

Other sources point to the Chinese company having requested information regarding Cyprus Airways financial data and assets in the recent past with a view to a takeover, as have a number of other suitors. However the genuine interest of the Chinese has been proven by their return with the aim of conducting negotiations to buy out the Cypriot airline.

The Cypriot government is eager to find strategic investors for a number of semi-state companies, with spokesman Christos Stylianides stating on Friday that “the government is facing a major problem concerning Cyprus Airways. We are ready to speak and negotiate with anyone in order to find a strategic investor.”

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