MEXICO CITY --
Grupo Posadas, Mexicos largest hotel firm, agreed to buy
government-owned Mexicana Airlines for $165.5 million.
beat out a bid from Grupo Xtra, the holding company for a large
The purchase by
Grupo Posadas is to be completed by Dec. 16; the new owner will
assume all of Mexicanas debt and lease obligations, bringing the
total transaction to nearly $1.5 billion, according to Adolfo
Crespo y Vivo, Mexicanas vice president of public
between hotel and airline
I think there are
a lot of synergies with the two groups, Crespo told
TravelWeekly.com. The new owner is the
largest Latin American hotel chain, with 94 hotels and 17,000
bedrooms. And we are the largest international carrier in Mexico,
and we dominate the tourism routes. So there will be a lot of
synergies as far as travel packages, and thats going to help a lot.
Also, we see a lot of synergies in the food business: We serve
food, and so do they.
Crespo said that
the sale will have no immediate effect on Mexicanas service, but by
the end of January he expects the airline to unveil new strategies.
Now we are a completely private company. By the end of January, we
are going to have new objectives or our objectives will be
Crespo said that
Grupo Posadas was drawn to Mexicana because of the airlines
relatively young fleet, its corporate culture and the potential of
the low-cost division Click Mexicana.
According to a
statement from Gaston Azcarraga, president of Grupo Posadas, This
purchase marks a new stage in the history of Grupo Posadas. I
firmly believe in the Mexican talent [present in] both companies,
and I am sure that the focused and determined work of our teams
will bring extraordinary results.
took control of both Mexicana and chief rival Aeromexico as part of
a bank bailout in the mid-1990s, creating Cintra to manage both
airlines. The government has been attempting to privatize
Aeromexico as well, but no announcement has been made about a
purchase; Grupo Posadas and Grupo Xtra both made bids for the two
airlines, but no one company would be allowed to purchase both
carriers, according to Cintra.
In Mexico, Grupo
Posadas claims to operate 20% of the nations tourist-class hotel
inventory. The companys brands include Fiesta Americana, Aqua,
Fiesta Inn, Caesar Park and Caesar Business.
reporter Mark Chesnut, send e-mail [email protected].