Air Jamaica privatisation close to an end
Published: Wednesday | July 1, 2009

The Privatisation committee which has been managing the project to privatise Air Jamaica has now completed its work and has submitted its recommendation to Senator Don Wehby, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance.

Wehby disclosed that late last week, the privatisation committee, chaired by Dennis Lalor, had submitted to him the

evaluation and recommendation report on the privatisation of the national carrier. Wehby said that the committee - assisted by the International Finance Corporation which is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, had negotiated strategically with the two top investor prospects and made a final recom-mendation for the signing of a document of agreed terms with one party.

The terms include a provision for the Government of Jamaica to maintain a minority equity stake in the airline.

The report was expected to be shared with the prime minister and minister of finance yesterday, after which the recommendation and various options will be reviewed by Cabinet and the Air Jamaica board of directors.

Wehby noted that the recent improvement in the financial and operational results of the airline had helped the process and had increased investor interest in the company.

The minister also pointed out that there was still much to be done in respect of finalising terms and managing the transition to the new ownership structure of the national airline.

According to Wehby, details of the transaction must remain con-fidential for the time being until a final decision was reached.

The Government has indicated that it will keep the public abreast of developments as the trans-action proceeds.