The Privatisation Commission has snubbed calls by Comair Limited, a British Airways franchisee, to participate in the restructured Air Malawi’s bid for a strategic equity partnership without submitting a formal bid and has shortlisted five out of 8 bidders to partner the national airlinewhich is in voluntary liquidation after two previous restructuring attempts failed.
“The PC is obliged to disclose that a representative of Comair Limited of South Africa had approached the commission, a few days before the closing date, to intimate that Comair would not be submitting a proposal.
“Instead, Comair referred the commission to the 2009 negotiated draft shareholders agreement with the Government of Malawi,” said the PC in a statement seen by Nyasa Times.
But the PC, a body mandated by government to seek a partner for Air Malawi, advised Comair Limited that previous contacts with the Malawi Government are outside the current bidding framework.
Meanwhile, the PC said the five listed are Ethiopian Airlines, Globe Business Network of Botswana, Fly Africa of South Africa, Air Express Limited of Malawi and Alpha and Omega/Abrina of South Africa.
The commission said the government, which wholly owns the airline, “is seeking a strategic equity partner to recapiltalise the restructured Air Malawi Limited.”
The PC said it will immediately constitute an evaluation committee to evaluate the five proposals for purposes of recommending a preferred bidder to the commissioners.
The government has created a new company, Air Malawi (2012) which will pick one of the bidders to help recapitalise the flag carrier.
Liquidator, Lekani Katandula, a partner at auditor and business advisory firm Deloitte is currently overseeing the ‘orderly’ transfer of assets from Air Malawi Limited to Air Malawi (2012) Limited.
The PC earlier said that the selection criteria of the preferred bidder will place strong emphasis on financial and technical capabilities to recapitalise Air Malawi (2012) Limited.