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2012-01-05 - 09:14:00 - DJ Czech Govt Preparing Sale Of CSA Czech Airlines - Newspaper

DJ Czech Govt Preparing Sale Of CSA Czech Airlines - Newspaper

PRAGUE (Dow Jones)--The Czech government is again laying the groundwork for a potential sale of state-owned flag carrier CSA Czech Airlines, according to several sources cited in Thursday's edition of daily newspaper Hospodarske Noviny.

The report says potential buyers include Chinese air carriers and cites the airline's spokeswoman saying negotiations with potential strategic partners are ongoing.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas is quoted saying he'd prefer the airline find a buyer from within the sector rather than a financial investor.

The airline, stripped of some of its debt and loss-making operations, is slated to be put into a recently-created holding company called Cesky Aeroholding in April, after which it could theoretically be sold.

Any deal, however, can come only after the European Commission rules that financial support for the airline from the government in recent years was legal.

In 2009 the government tried to sell CSA Czech Airlines, and bidders in the final round of the failed tender were KLM-Air France (AF.FR), Russia's Aeroflot (AFLT.RS) and Czech closely-held charter airline Travel Service.

Newspaper website:

-Prague Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +420 222 315 290

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 05, 2012 04:14 ET (09:14 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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