The Barceló Group is already confident that it will achieve the injection of 240 million euros that it requested from the SEPI rescue fund for its travel business, with which it has decided to resume the negotiation to merge its agencies with those of Halcón Viajes, frozen since May due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
According to sources close to the Mallorcan group confirmed to Efe on Thursday, the viability plan that it presented in October to request the rescue of Avoris, its travel division, by the Fund for Support to the Solvency of Strategic Companies has been passing “multiple filters” and “everything indicates” that the fund management council will not impede your request.
That request consisted of the granting of 240 million in loans, one of them collaborative for 51% of that amount and another ordinary for the rest.
In return, the fund’s managing board will establish certain conditions that Barceló trusts will be acceptable for the group, with which it has decided resume negotiations with Globalia to merge the travel agency businesses of both groups, always according to the cited sources.
Last May, Globalia and Barceló decided to freeze until autumn that merger process that they wanted to seal that same month, and thus take time to see in what condition their businesses were after the brutal onslaught of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sources close to the operation acknowledge that, after the summer, the value of the businesses of both divisions may have changed significantly compared to what they had when Last November they agreed to merge Halcón Viajes and Avoris.
When on May 8 the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) gave the go-ahead to the operation -in a one-year-valid decision-, the governing bodies of both tourist groups gave themselves a month to ratify the merger agreement, called to create a group of travel agencies of some 3,700 million euros of turnover and more than 1,500 points of sale.
Barceló would lead the management
The original idea was that the company resulting from the merger would be “an independent entity” capable of surpassing Viajes El Corte Inglés, which leads the sector in Spain controlled 50.5% by Barceló and 49.5% by Globalia.
In addition, the former would control three of the five members of the Board of Directors and would take the reins of day-to-day management, something that the Mallorcan group trusts that the fund’s managing council will respect without trying to impose different conditions.
“It has been preferred to let the summer pass and gain perspective. Today the scenario is very complex and it makes sense to wait a few months, “sources close to the negotiation explained to Efe at the time, coinciding with the fulfillment of the deadline that the parties had given themselves to ratify the merger agreement.
The merger was announced almost a year ago, shortly after Globalia reached an agreement with IAG, Iberia’s parent company, to sell to the British-Spanish group, for 1,000 million euros, its airline Air Europa, an operation whose initial conditions are also being reviewed.
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