2. 10. 2006 - ČSA to sell catering and cargo terminal and hold on to cargo transport and duty free

Prague, October 2,  2006

Based on the results of an analysis of side businesses, Czech Airlines (ČSA) has decided to sell its catering operation and cargo terminal at Prague Ruzyne airport. The company is going to hold on to the duty free shops and onboard sales.

Czech Airlines has completed the first stage of an analysis of possible divestments. Its objective was to assess individual side business lines to see how they fitted into the company’s main line of business – regular air transport. ČSA’s full focus on the main line is a part of the strategy that ČSA has adopted and, is at the same time, the basic prerequisite of achieving competitiveness and returning to a profit situation. Based on a financial analysis, ČSA management has decided to initiate the sale of the catering and cargo terminal.

The existing ČSA catering will be sold as a unit; the cargo operation divestment will be divided into two parts. The cargo terminal will be offered for sale by ČSA but the company will retain cargo transport aboard ČSA aircraft. By its character of additional aircraft balancing, cargo transport is closely connected with the main business line. However, the terminal as such can be operated by another owner without any major affect on ČSA.

In both cases a contract with the new acquirer to provide services for ČSA will form a part of the sale. ČSA contacted prospective investors today by sending out basic information about the investment opportunity that the sale of the ČSA catering operation presents. Prospective investors in the cargo terminal will be contacted in October. 

ČSA, however, is holding on to duty free. The sale of this would not bring any significant economic effect because of the restricted lease term of the venues where the shops are located in the airport. It is more advantageous for ČSA to hold on to this profitable activity.

ČSA is preparing the sale of the catering and cargo terminal in co-operation with an investment advisor, CA IB Corporate Finance, a.s., and the Pokorný, Wagner & spol. law firm is providing legal advice for the project. “The basic decision-making criteria for the sale will be the price and the best agreement on providing cooperation and services for Czech Airlines,” said ČSA President, Radomír Lašák.

Schedule for selling the Catering and Cargo terminal
The communication with investors, started today, will be followed by the signing of non-disclosure contracts and providing supporting materials in October so that investors can analyse the investment opportunity. Also in October the company will initiate steps to divide the catering and cargo terminal into separate subsidiaries. The new companies could be registered in the Commercial Register in February 2007. ČSA would like to receive indicative quotes from investors this year and would like to select the winner of the tender for both companies in February 2007.   

ČSA Catering – provides a comprehensive air catering service from preparing meals to supplying them to ČSA and other carriers’ aircraft.

ČSA Cargo – provides air cargo transport on regular and charter ČSA flights, as well as operating one of the most modern cargo terminals in Europe at Prague Ruzyně Airport.

ČSA Duty Free involves selling goods aboard ČSA aircraft and in shops at airports. At present, ČSA operates four Duty Free shops – three in Prague and one in Carlsbad.

Daniela Hupáková

ČSA Spokesperson