Mexican tycoon wants to buy Aeromexico

Mexican entrepreneur Alberto Saba and his son Moises this week announced their interest in acquiring Aeromexico when it goes on auction in September or October. The Mexican government - through a group of agencies led by bank savings regulator IPAB - holds 64 per cent of the airline's equity, while the remaining shares are widely held.

The Sabas have extensive holdings in textiles, hotels, and entertainment. The group expressed its willingness to organise and participate in an IPO to sell Aeromexico on the Mexican Stock Exchange for up to $200 million.

Moises Saba said the group was always looking for new business opportunities, even if they seem risky. He said the future development of Aeromexico should be based on improved service, not on lower fares.

IPAB said it would evaluate the proposal and fix a minimum purchase price, putting it to a final decision by the board. Mexico's pilots union (Aspa) wants Aeromexico to be sold, because it urgently needs new investments to face the aggressive competition. However, the pilots have warned the government not to "squander it away".