Globalia, which owns Air Europa, is preparing to go public because it is "100 percent transparent," but the stakes to be taken by each shareholder and the share price are not known, Globalia chief Juan Jose Hidalgo said here Tuesday at a forum organized by Agencia Efe.
Four "important" groups are interested in participating in the initial public offering, Hidalgo said during the fifth installment of the "Efe Breakfast" discussion series in Brazil.
A U.S. investment fund, a Russian airline company, Chinese investors and European investors are interested in the IPO, the executive said without providing additional details.
Two of the company's shareholders - Banco Popular and Unicaja - may have to sell their stakes due to demands from the Bank of Spain, the Air Europa chief said.
"The Bank of Spain is demanding a lot and they prefer to get out. If they want to leave and others to come in, then that's what I'm working on - helping those who want to get out do so and those who want to enter to come in," Hidalgo said after a presentation on Air Europa's new Madrid-Sao Paulo route.
Hidalgo said in response to a question about the share structure of the company that he did not know what the IPO price would be or the "real value" of the business.
"One thing is these deals and the other is the real value of the group. I honestly believe that the group is worth three times more because of what we have done and the future it has. The group has so much value that I don't know how to calculate it," Hidalgo said.
The Globalia CEO compared the performance of his company to that of Iberia, noting that "with 4,000 people and 44 planes" Air Europa "has more customers than its competitor with 16,000 workers and 74 planes."
Air Europa was "ready" to buy Iberia in 2007, but the talks were ended on the same day that a deal was reached, Hidalgo said.
"There was a deal, a deal to buy it, and that same morning the transaction was scrapped. The purchase of all of Iberia had been arranged, 100 percent, and it was announced, and that same morning it was aborted," Hidalgo said.
"If that group (Iberia) really traded on the stock market at its real value, losing money, how much would ours really be worth," Hidalgo said.
The executive said he did not plan to sell any shares before the IPO and refused to comment on his family's plans. EFE