The venture capital investment companies Indigo Capital Partners and HRS Management have reached the final phase of a private equity bidding process for Volotea, the low-cost Spanish airline Spanish founded almost six years ago by Carlos Muñoz and Lázaro Ros.
These are two funds with a lot of experience in the aviation sector, especially Indigo which has equity in airlines such as Spirit Airlines, Frontier, Wizz Air, and JetSmart. For its part, HRS is an investment company with equity in companies all around the world. Currently, HRS owns 1.65% of American Airlines and 1% of AerCap Holdings, the world’s largest aircraft leasing company.
This equity bidding operation, coordinated by investment bank Morgan Stanley, will foreseeably finish within the next two or three months. Indigo and HRS are already preparing their final offers, which must be submitted before Easter. Volotea started operations in April 2012 and earned revenues of about 300 million euros last year. In 2012, the airline postponed an IPO in 2016 due to a volatile stock market. Last year, Volotea asked Morgan Stanley to find new partners.
Sources within Volotea explained yesterday that "the process started a few months ago, and it is very exciting. There have been many investment companies interested in acquiring some of our equity and this is going very well, although there is still some work to do to close the operation." Last night, they said that "there is another investment with options to participate", apart from the two mentioned. Other sources cited Cerberus as the third party, an investment company that at the end of last year proposed a complete takeover of Alitalia.
In any case, the two confirmed finalists - Indigo and HRS - have the approval of the airline to replace CCMP Capital, the fund that controls 49% of Volotea. "CCMP’s departure is mandatory because the company has reached the end of its contractual obligation and now must sell", said sources within Volotea.