Qatar Airways buys stake in Cargolux
Cargolux announced today a strategic equity partnership with Doha-based Qatar Airways. The partnership will include the acquisition of a 35% stake in Cargolux and a commercial cooperation.
The transaction was signed on behalf of the selling Cargolux shareholders by the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Luc Frieden, and on behalf of the Company by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Frank Reimen. The new shareholder was represented by the Chairman of the Board of Directors His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and by Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, who signed the accord on behalf of Qatar Airways.
Today’s acquisition by Qatar Airways of a 35% equity interest in Cargolux marks the termination of the temporary role of the Luxembourg State as a shareholder in the Company and enables other state-controlled shareholders who participated in the 2009 Cargolux restructuring plan through the acquisition of a 33.7% holding of former SAirlines to sell or reduce their ownership in Cargolux.
Marc Hoffmann, Chairman of the Cargolux Board of Directors said: ‘At the implementation of the restructuring plan in November 2009, I noted that Cargolux would benefit strongly from a strategic partner and that the shareholders had commenced discussions with several parties.
I am delighted that we have now found such an excellent strategic partner in Qatar Airways, a leading Middle East carrier and one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. I have no doubt that the cooperation with the new shareholder will support the business performance of Cargolux and strengthen its market position going forward’, he added.
His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani said: ‘The State of Qatar strongly supports viable business development opportunities. Our investment in Europe’s leading cargo carrier Cargolux boosts our ambition to become one of the major players in air freight by 2015’.
Frank Reimen, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cargolux, said that a draft Commercial Cooperation Plan between Cargolux and Qatar Airways has been jointly developed in a constructive atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
‘We have identified numerous synergies owing to the complementary nature of our businesses that will enable us to develop scale and reach and strengthen our respective hubs in Luxembourg and Doha. The implementation of the cooperation plan will be a driver of high customer satisfaction, enhance our competitiveness through improved returns and benefit the Luxembourg economy overall through extra trucking and handling tonnage and the creation of new jobs’, continued Frank Reimen.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Office Akbar Al Baker said ‘Everybody wins from this partnership. We seek to fuel our growth plans by including air freight as a major part of our product offering. Our investment in Cargolux, a sound and healthy company and a leading all-cargo carrier, will deliver great value to Qatar Airways’.