| TOLUCA, Mexico
TOLUCA, Mexico Nov 21 Citigroup Inc may
sell its 37 percent stake in Grupo Aeromexico, the
holding company of Mexico's top airline, as the U.S. financial
services giant continues to unload noncore assets, Aeromexico's
chief executive said on Wednesday.
A Citigroup subsidiary was one of several investors that
pitched in a combined $250 million five years ago to take the
then government-run air group private. Its main asset is the
namesake Aeromexico airline.
"Since 2007, when (Citigroup) made the original investment,
it was always said it was a temporary investment," Aeromexico
CEO Andres Conesa told reporters during an event at the main
airport in the state of Mexico.
"So whenever they dump (the investment) - tomorrow, in five
years or in 10 - it should not come as a surprise," he added.
Citigroup's Grupo Aeromexico stake made it the biggest
individual investor in the Mexican company, but the bank has
the stake in its Citi Holdings portfolio of extraneous assets it
intends to shed.
Conesa declined to say what could happen to the 37 percent
stake if it left Citigroup's hands. A Citigroup spokeswoman
declined to comment.
Airline Aeromexico's operations received a big boost after
its closest rival, Mexicana, stopped flying in the second half
of 2010 because of overwhelming debt.
Grupo Aeromexico, which listed 17 percent of its capital in
the Mexican stock exchange in 2011, has been bolstering its
fleet with better and more cost-efficient aircraft. Earlier this
month, Aeromexico finalized an order for 60 new Boeing Co
737 MAX planes, with an option for 30 more.
Delta Air Lines Inc holds a stake of nearly 5
percent in Aeromexico, which has 37 percent of the domestic
market and expects to transport 15.5 million passengers this