Swissair and Belgium agree deal over Sabena
Swissair Group and the Belgian Government have announced an agreement over a solution that secures the future of Sabena whilst releasing Swissair Group from its commitment to increase its stake in the Belgian airline to 85 per cent, the two sides said.Under the terms of the agreement, the two parties have committed to a cash injection of 430 million euros ($376 million) to be paid in four installments over the next two years. Swissair Group will pay 60 per cent of the committed funds and the Belgian Government 40 per cent. The first installment becomes due in October 2001. The restructuring measures reflected in the business plan 2001-2005 of Sabena management will be carried out as proposed in order to ensure the airline's profitability. This agreement cancels a previous accord signed on January 25 this year whereby Swissair Group agreed to increase its shareholding in Sabena to 85 per cent. Swissair will now maintain its 49.5 per cent shareholding in Sabena. Neither the Swissair Group nor the Belgian Government will have any future funding obligations to Sabena, other than those set forth in the agreement. The Belgian Government and Sabena will immediately withdraw their lawsuits against the Swissair Group.