Brazilian airline Azul SA has reportedly expressed interest in buying all of Chile’s LATAM Airlines Group, which is currently in bankruptcy protection.
According to Reuters, Azul chief executive John Rodgerson told Chilean newspaper Diario Financiero that his airline is ready to make an offer if LATAM’s creditors fail to agree on a restructuring plan.
The LATAM Group, which includes affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2020, making it among the largest carriers to take the step amid the coronavirus crisis.
According to previous reports by Reuters, Azul had been contemplating buying only LATAM’s Brazilian operations. However in the Diario Financiero interview, Rodgerson said the plan was to buy and hold on to the whole company.
“We would buy the whole asset. I believe that the group has a lot of value and we’re not thinking of splitting or selling divisions,” Rodgerson said. “We know exactly what we will offer.”
Azul would likely have to wait to make any bid until Nov. 23 when a statutory limit on reaching a restructuring plan runs out. As the deadline looms for LATAM to submit its plan, Rodgerson expressed skepticism that such an agreement could be reached.
But he said that in the event LATAM manages to get a restructuring plan approved, Azul would not be able to make its offer.
When asked to respond to news of the Rodgerson interview, Reuters reports LATAM replied the company “is not for sale” and would not comment on Azul’s intentions. Further, the company said it is preparing to deliver its restructuring plan this year.