After speculation that Lufthansa may have been a suitor for Portugal’s national carrier, Lufthansa has decided to not pursue the acquisition of TAP from the government of Portugal.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Portugese were gathering preliminary bids that were due last Friday and Lufthansa confirmed that it did not submit a bid. According to Lufthansa, they want to focus on their existing business and challenges and not bring on any other distractions at this time. At this point in their business cycle, I think it’s a wise decision.
Earlier this year, rumors had circulated that both Lufthansa and IAG (British Airways/Iberia parent) were interested in adding TAP to their collection of airlines. IAG also confirmed that it did not present a bid by Friday’s deadline.
The Portugese government committed that it would sell/privatize TAP by the end of the year and is under pressure to do so in light of economic challenges that Portugal is facing.
I’m not sure if this means the REAL end of the process or if it is just an opening gambit in order to get a better deal on the TAP assets. TAP does have a lot of value for the right price because of it’s existing routes to South America that Lufthansa and British Airways have always coveted.