Montepio has hired a financial broker to sell the shares it owns in Groundforce, freeing the bank’s credit recovery department led by Pedro Leitão from taking on that responsibility, according to Nascer do SOL. Chinese investment bank Bison Bank (which received the banking license Banif – Banco de Investimento) has in its hands organizing an auction of Groundforce shares owned by businessman Alfredo Casemiro, which were pledged. Our newspaper knows that the investment bank has already received non-binding proposals for a 50.1% stake.
This is a race against time, as the Minister of Infrastructure confirmed this week, in Parliament, he is convinced that this sale of shares is coming soon, and thus Alfredo Casemiro’s departure from the controls of the handling company. “We are watching and expecting that the sale process will be successfully completed by those who have the right to sell and that means the entry of a partner who has the financial capacity so that we can start a life of stability,” said Pedro Nono Santos. Adding that, “If Montepio is unable to carry out the sale, the state or TAP will find a solution.”
He noted that the government was working on a solution and that it was “only suspended to give an opportunity to make the sale”, which has not happened so far.
The government official also clarified that he did not move forward with the nationalization of Groundforce – as he did with Efacec – to avoid “litigation risks”, given the complexity of these procedures, which could lead to a payout.
Strike suspended, but not for everyone
After the chaos of last weekend’s ground force workers’ strike, which resulted in the cancellation of more than 600 flights and affected thousands of passengers – a situation that led Pedro Nono Santos to consider unfairly holding TAP responsible for the workers’ strike. And for the president of the Portuguese Tourism Federation, speaking of a “dramatic” event – the Airport Handling Technicians Union (STHA) has called off the strike that was scheduled for July 31, August 1 and 2.
This decision came after a compromise was reached with the government, ensuring the payment of leave allowance and entitlements before processing the July salaries of all company employees.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Infrastructure announced, this Wednesday, that TAP will pay directly to the workers of the handling company the amount corresponding to the leave allowance and delayed pensions, “without the will or acceptance of whoever controls Groundforce.” .
But despite the call of the STHA union to strike, other union structures will maintain the strike. STTAMP and STAMA will keep the prior strike notices in effect for Groundforce until the date the payments are actually made, given that in the recent past, these two unions had already reached an agreement to pay the leave allowance, with the same being rejected by Alfredo Casemiro who, although Of the impending changes in the shareholder structure, he remains to this day the Chairman of the Board of Directors”, they noted in a statement.
The CEO of the Afghan National Army also stated that the situation witnessed at the airports last week could not be repeated, and considered it impossible to delay the cancellation of the occupation license any longer. “We are aware of the great difficulties workers face, but this kind of situation [vividas no passado fim de semana] It cannot be repeated, otherwise, in this context of fragility, many companies that need an operation this summer to survive will face the same difficulties”, said Thierry Legonière.
The subject of the dispute is the revocation of the occupancy license from Groundforce, claiming that the handling company owes €769.6 thousand in occupancy fees. In this draft resolution by the ANA Executive Committee, the group states that it, as the general airport service concessionaire, is responsible for “licensing the occupation and exercise of activities and services in airport domain assets included in the scope of the concession.” As well as all works related to “implementation, modification and expiration of licenses”.
Why this effect?
Since TAP is a shareholder in Groundforce, it is inevitable that the airline will use the company to provide handling services. In fact, to minimize the effects of last weekend’s layover, the airline has clarified that a passenger can request compensation for the flight.
If the ticket has already been purchased through a travel agency, TAP advises contacting them. However, if you still do not know where the baggage is and the final destination is not Lisbon or Porto, and if you do not yet have a missing baggage number, TAP asks you to access the airline’s website.
But Groudforce isn’t the only one operating at national airports. Portway – the result of a joint venture between Fraport AG and ANA, Aeroportos de Portugal – also provides handling services in Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Funchal and Beja, with more than 80 airlines as its customers, with a strong focus on low-cost carriers. This means that passengers who have booked flights for these companies are not affected by the stopover.
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