UPDATE 1-Cyprus Air says Canada's Triple Five eyes stake

Tue May 8, 2012 5:10am EDT

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NICOSIA May 8 (Reuters) - Canadian conglomerate Triple Five is interested in acquiring a majority stake in Cyprus Airways , the Cypriot flag carrier said on Tuesday.

The Canadian group had expressed its intention in a letter sent to the airline on May 4, Cyprus Airways said in a statement. The group had requested data on its financial situation and its activities, the carrier said.

"Triple Five informed the company that it would make its final decision on the issue after assessing this data," Cyprus Airways said.

Cyprus Airways is majority controlled by the Cypriot government. Representatives of Triple Five, which has business interests ranging from malls and real estate to hotels primarily in North America, visited Cyprus earlier this year.

The loss-making carrier had said in February it planned a 45 million euros ($58.7 million) capital raising, while authorities have said they would consider the sale of up to a majority stake in the airline. The state owns 69 percent of Cyprus Airways.

A number of other organisations have expressed an interest in participating in the company, with no specific proposals yet, Cyprus Airways said. ($1 = 0.7663 euros) (Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Alison Birrane and Hans-Juergen Peters)

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