LISBON, June 11 (Reuters) - Portugal’s government picked on Thursday a consortium led by American-Brazilian investor David Neeleman in the privatisation of airline TAP, ending a drawn-out sales process that has faced strong opposition from many unions.
“The winning consortium is Gateway,” a source with knowledge of the sales process told Reuters.
Gateway is led by Neeleman and Portuguese bus company owner Humberto Pedrosa. Neeleman is the founder of U.S. airline JetBlue and the CEO of Azul Brazilian airlines.
Brazilian-Colombian investor German Efromovich, who controls Latin America’s Avianca, had also presented a bid for Portugal’s flag carrier.
The government is selling a 61 percent controlling stake in TAP.
TAP is especially attractive to Brazilian investors because of the large amount of slots it holds on flights between Portugal and Brazil. Because of that many Europeans transit through Portugal to fly to Brazil. (Reporting By Sergio Goncalves, writing by Axel Bugge)