Belgian – Romanian firm takes over low cost airline Blue Air in EUR 30 million deal

Belgian – Romanian Airline Management Solutions recently won the bid to buy Romanian low cost airline Blue Air for EUR 30 million. The winner is controlled by Belgian Maxi Tours and two Romanian shareholders, according to Casa de Insolvenţă Transilvania, the judiciary administrator of Blue Air’s parent company Romstrade.

Three investors qualified in the race to take over Romanian low cost airline Blue Air, but only two submitted offers: a Belgian company and the owner of Medallion Air, Victor Dumitrescu. The third investor was a company controlled by Romanian businessman Dan Adamescu, the owner of Unirea Shopping Center.

The winner will have to receive the approval of the company’s creditors before the business takeover. The deal includes the brand, know-how and sales platform, but not Blue Air’s assets.

The owner of Blue Air Nelu Iordache is currently under arrest for embezzling funds. Romstrade, the parent company of Blue Air, hit the headlines last year when the company’s owner Nelu Iordache, nicknamed “The Asphalt King”, was indicted and convicted of various offenses related to the misappropriation of some EUR 5.5 million funds. Contracts worth millions of euros were canceled.

Iordache was first incarcerated at the beginning of December and the court has since extended his prison time. This came after after the Romanian National Company of Motorways and National Roads (CNADNR) served two termination notices to Romstrade, the company owned by Nelu Iordache, suddenly striking off the contractor’s expected revenue list almost EUR 54 million in road modernization and construction work.

Iordache is one of Romania’s richest, ranking 28th in the Forbes rich list, with an estimated wealth of some EUR 150 million. Iordache’s lawyers claim the funds in question were taken in June 2011, and the request to reimburse EU funding by the European Commission was only made in October 2011. Political commentators suggest there could also be a political dimension to Iordache’s fall.

Romanian company Romstrade ended 2011 with a profit of EUR 2.6 million, which was much lower than the EUR 31 million in 2009.

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