Lebanon’s MEA to go public this year

10 Apr 2010

(MENAFN) The Chairman of Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines (MEA) said that the government plans to begin partially privatizing its national carrier this year, as it pushes ahead with plans to rebuild its image, Gulf News reported.

After a two-year delay caused by the world’s worst recession in over six decades, officials will begin the process for an initial public offering (IPO) this year and shares will be listed on the Beirut stock exchange in 2011.

The carrier, which before 1975 was ranked among the Middle East’s best airlines, has been majority owned by the Central Bank of Lebanon after its rescue from bankruptcy 14 years ago. MEA fell on hard times between 1975 and 1990 because of Lebanon’s civil war.

MEA, which was founded in 1945, has 13 planes in operation and serves 29 destinations. Two more planes will be received by the company next month, Hout said.

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