THE NEW management of the Slovakia-based, low-cost SkyEurope airlines has persuaded the company’s shareholders at a meeting in Vienna on July 14 to okay a drastic cut in the company’s basic assets from €42.6 million to €6.6 million, the online news service of the Sme daily, sme.sk, reported.
According to the Czech news portal idnes.cz many of the shareholders objected to this step regardless of the fact that the real market price of the shares is extremely low. Many of the Austrian shareholders are pensioners who bought the shares on the Viennese stock exchange during the market boom. In February 2007 SkyEurope’s shares stood at €6; today they would bring about 20 euro cents, sme.sk wrote.
The company’s management has promised the shareholders to bring in a new investor.
“Currently we are holding negotiations with two or three potential investors,” SkyEurope’s boss Nick Manoudakis said, as quoted by idnes.cz. “We believe we’ll be able to announce the name of the investor in the coming days.”
The new investor is expected to bring a minimum of €18 million into the company. Manoudakis said that mainly financial firms have expressed interest in SkyEurope.
In the last year SkyEurope has lost 40 percent of its passengers and 30 percent of its transport capacity. According to Manoudakis, the company’s current situation also is a hindrance to the sale of the tickets. Manoudakis added that the loss was caused by last year’s high prices of oil coupled with a downturn in customer interest because of the financial crisis. But the company was not able to produce profits even in good times, sme.sk wrote.