Latam Airlines ‘Absolutely Not’ Selling Brazil Unit to Azul

Latam Airlines Group SA Chief Executive Roberto Alvo, seeking to stave off an overture from rival Azul SA, said the bankrupt air carrier’s Brazilian operations aren’t for sale, Bloomberg News reported. Santiago-based Latam, which has now been in U.S. bankruptcy for more than a year, has its sights set on a strong chapter 11 exit -- not a piecemeal sale of the business, Alvo said in an interview Wednesday. The carrier’s shares briefly slumped last week after it denied reports that Azul SA planned to buy Latam’s Brazilian subsidiary. While Alvo said he is “absolutely not” selling the Sao Paulo-based unit to the low cost competitor, Azul is now waiting to evaluate Latam’s bankruptcy exit plan and may propose the acquisition offer directly to Latam creditors. Azul has unsuccessfully floated to Latam executives the idea of carving out the domestic Brazil network, according to the person. Under the proposal, Latam, the largest airline in Latin America, would have been left to focus on business elsewhere in the region while maintaining links to the route network in Brazil. Read more.