Sri Lanka government, Emirates finalize deal to buy back national carrier

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 04, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government and Dubai’s Emirates Airlines have finalized a deal to buy out its stake in the national carrier, its chairman Nishanta Wickremasinghe said. Emirates managed the airline for 10 years from 1998. The government already owns 51 percent of Sri Lankan. “The deal has been finalized,” Wickremasinghe said. “It is between the government and Emirates.”

Wickremesinghe said he was not aware of the final price.

However a government source familiar with the deal mentioned a deal value of 55 to 60 million US dollars for Emirates’ 43.6 percent share holdings of Sri Lankan Airlines.

State-run Bank of Ceylon and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, which was recently re-vested in the state are involved in the deal, the source said.