Former Blue Air CEO claims it’s the EUR 60 mln state aid that led to the airline’s collapse
In response to broad criticism related to the EUR 60 mln state aid extended with Government guarantees to Romanian private airline Blue Air, the company’s former CEO, Oana Petrescu, explains that the rescue loan rather led to its collapse.
The airline paid exactly none of the due instalments of the EUR 60 mln loan (the state did, from the public budget). But the loan, more precisely the collaterals attached to it, impeded the company from attracting private capital.
“Regarding the reverse takeover transaction with Ridgecrest Ltd (signed in June 2021 and which would have made it possible to list on the London Stock Exchange - AIM in October 2021), this was not possible because Blue Air could not demonstrate that its shares are not seized,” Petrescu said, quoted by Ziarul Financiar.
It remains unclear, however, how Blue Air’s management accepted such an unfavourable deal as the EUR 60 mln rescue loan and why wasn’t it able to include the repayment of the rescue loan in the broader arrangement with Ridgecrest Ltd.
The former Blue Air CEO, an experienced banker with a deep understanding of corporate valuation, argues that the Romanian state took the responsibility to bail out the company by the rescue aid terms. But it remains unclear what Blue Air’s plans were when taking the EUR 60 mln loan.
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