Brazilian airline GOL says Delta Air exits stake

Dec 11 (Reuters) - Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA said late Tuesday that Delta Air lines Inc has sold more than 32.9 million shares it held in the company, a few months after the Atlanta-based airline announced its decision to exit stake.

Delta’s decision to sell its stake was expected, following its acquisition of a 20% stake in GOL competitor LATAM Airlines Group SA for $1.9 billion in September.

Delta did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The deal with LATAM Airlines was Delta’s largest since it merged with Northwest Airlines a decade ago, and ended the Chilean carrier’s ties with American Airlines Group.

Delta’s deal with Latin America’s largest carrier would give it a bigger footprint in the region, where American Airlines has been leading the charts.

American Airlines confirmed in October it was negotiating a possible partnership with GOL, after a newspaper reported that the two companies were in contact the same day that Delta bought its stake in LATAM.

The structure or content of any potential partnership was unclear, Brazil’s Valor Economico said at the time. (Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)