Chilean airline LAN said it expects to complete its takeover of Brazil’s TAM by the first week of June, creating one of the world’s biggest airlines.
LAN, which had previously hoped to complete the deal by mid-May, expects to launch a share swap under the merger process in the next couple of weeks, chief financial officer Alejandro de la Fuente said at a shareholder’ meeting.
Regulators in Chile and Brazil have already approved the transaction.
“The process is practically ready… The (share swap) should be launched next week or the following one, and with that the merger should be complete in the first week of June,” de la Fuente said.
He added that LAN plans to invest USD$1.7 billion in aircraft in 2012, part of a wider fleet investment plan. LAN said in late January it would spend USD$4.73 billion between 2012 and 2014 on fleet renewal.
The Chilean carrier’s 2011 full-year net profit fell nearly 24 percent to USD$320 million, and fourth-quarter profit plunged 31.6 percent to USD$112.5 million on flight disruptions due to an ash cloud spewed by an erupting volcano in Chile, restructuring costs in Colombia and higher fuel prices.
LAN, headquartered in Santiago, has domestic passenger operations in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru and cargo operations in Brazil and Mexico.