LAN Chile and TAM Airlines, the two main South American air carriers completed their merger process today to become one of the world’s ten biggest transport groups of passengers and cargo, and the second largest in market value.
The Chilean airline LAN and TAM Linhas Aéreas of Brazil sealed their merger on Friday, after successfully concluding a stock swap that creates one of the ten largest global transport groups of passengers and cargo with connections to over 150 destinations.
LAN reported receiving orders to exchange 95.9 per cent of the shares of TAM, exceeding the original target of 95 percent. This allowed the operation to go ahead resulting in the removal of the Brazilian Airline’s shares from the market.
This is the final step of the complex financial process that began nearly two years ago. The shares of LAN Airlines, which from now on becomes LATAM Airlines Group, will be listed in New York, in the Santiago de Chile Stock Market and in BOVESPA, the main Brazilian Stock Exchange based in Sao Paulo.
Mauricio Rolim Amaro, TAM's current vice president, will assume the position of chairman of LATAM, while Enrique Cueto, LAN's executive vice president, will assume the same role in LATAM, now the largest airline group in Latin America.
TAM Airlines plane (Screen capture Iasuncion).
In a first stage, the operations of LAN and TAM airlines, and their subsidiaries, will continue under their existing brands, with headquarters in Santiago de Chile and Sao Paulo, respectively, offering more flights and more destinations than competitors in Latin America. In 2011, LAN's and TAM's revenues exceeded $13.3 billion, and their combined market value among the world's major airlines is second only to Air China, reports USAToday.
LANTAM Airlines Group will decide within a few months about their affiliation to one of the major airline alliances since currently LAN is a member of the OneWorld Alliance, while TAM is part of the Star Alliance.
The merger results in a combined fleet amounting to 240 passenger and cargo aircrafts with additional 200 on order, according to Flightglobal.com. The fusion of both airlines aims to increase competiveness with other air commercial agreements that have emerged within and outside the region in recent years.