Air Namibia assets struggle to attract buyers

Air Namibia liquidators are struggling to find buyers for the defunct national airline’s remaining assets more than a year after it went bust, Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi has said. 

Shiimi, who is also acting Public Enterprises Minister, told Parliament that liquidators are working around the clock to secure severance packages for over 600 former Air Namibia employees. 

“It should, however, be noted that to find appropriate buyers for the remaining assets of Air Namibia has been a challenging task, considering where global markets are right now with the aviation industry, we believe, struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.  

Adding that the liquidators are trying their best in sourcing appropriate buyers for such assets and have the three creditors and employees' interests at heart. 

However, he said potential buyers for the carrier’s aircraft had submitted offers.

“Although there have been a few potential offers for the aircraft, due to the confidential and competitive nature of the transactions, information around the transactions can only be shared upon successful conclusion thereof,” he added. 

Information gathered by The Brief shows that South Africa-based airline, BDS Airways, submitted a N$1.4-billion offer to buy the assets of the liquidated national airline. 

Shiimi said the liquidators, David Bruni and Ian McLaren, had only managed to collect around N$60 million in accounts receivables and service deposits, with no definite timeline for the conclusion of the liquidation process. 

“The potential to collect more debt is limited, according to the information above,” he said, adding that to reach the target to be able to pay the severance packages, the liquidators will need to sell some of the aircraft. The global aviation industry is recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced many airlines to downsize and dump aircraft into the market, resulting in an oversupply of aircraft and limited demand. 

Furthermore, the Finance and acting Public Enterprises Minister says the liquidation process is potentially lengthy, and therefore impossible to determine and indicate a liquidation finalisation date. However, he adds that the liquidators are pursuing potential buyers of the assets, as they understand the challenges and hardships faced by all those affected by the liquidation process, especially the former employees who are owed over N$103.4 million in severance packages, inclusive of leave days and notice pay. 

According to the liquidators' report, Air Namibia had N$15.8 million in cash at the bank and N$44 829 194 receivables, of which N$37 326 444 was doubtful and estimated service deposits of N$40 million. The value of its fixed assets amounted to N$955 million, with its Head Office building valued at N$22.2 million. Air Namibia owes three creditors N$896.4 million from claims submitted in May last year.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 20 September 2022 18:33

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