TAP Air Portugal announced in a press release that in early October 2020 the Portuguese government completed the recapitalization of TAP Air Portugal, increased the state’s stake to 72.5% and ended David Neeleman’s departure from the airline.
“David Gary Neeleman has announced his resignation from the position of TAP’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. David Gary Neeleman has also set out his resignation from all other positions in the governance structure of the remaining companies in the TAP Group, including TAP SGPS, “the airline said in a press release.
Under a July 2020 take-back agreement, the Portuguese government paid € 55 million for Neeleman’s 22.5% stake held through its 50% stake in the Atlantic Gateway consortium. Since the state already owned 50% of the TAP capital before the repayment, its stake was 72.5%.
The other partner in the consortium, Humberto Pedrosa, remains a 22.5% shareholder in the airline directly and not through the Atlantic Gateway consortium, which has already been officially canceled. Upon completion of the transaction, Pedrosa and his son David also left the airline’s management to only have voting rights in decisions as a relevant shareholder.
After all, the employees have a 5% stake in the airline.
According to Mundo Lusíada, Neeleman said in a letter to staff that he is doing his best for TAP again. “I always wanted the best for TAP. So it was in 2015 when I applied for privatization and believed when no one else believed and today when I signed the agreement with the Portuguese state not to be involved in TAP any more, ”wrote David Neeleman.
The bailout agreement also provides for a nearly $ 1 billion loan from the Portuguese government, which could be increased to $ 1.2 billion.