SA hires RMB to advise on possible airline stake sale

Bloomberg has reported Rand Merchant Bank, the investment banking arm of South Africa´s FirstRand, has announced it has been appointed as an adviser to help the government assess offers for stakes in its insolvent national airline, the news source said.

The state is looking to raise more than ZAR 10 billion (USD 575 million) that South African Airways administrators say is needed to revive its operations eight months after going into bankruptcy protection. The National Treasury will not use its own money, beyond ZAR 16.4 billion in existing debt guarantees, and will instead seek strategic partners or private-equity backers as well as tapping pension funds and global financial institutions.

SAA hasn´t made a profit for almost a decade and has been surviving on state bailouts. It was placed in business rescue, a local form of bankruptcy protection, in December.