American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) has signed an extended partnership agreement with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (G3, Sao Paulo Congonhas), including, among other provisions, a commitment to invest USD200 million in new GOL shares, giving it a 5.2% stake in the Brazilian airline.
“The investment represents recognition by a major US airline carrier of the company’s value as the largest airline in Brazil with the best product. Further, the investment, when combined with the BRL2.7 billion reals (USD515 million) of long-term capital raised in 2Q21, brings the total long-term capital raised to over BRL3.7 billion (USD704 million) in the last six months, including over BRL2 billion (USD381 million) of new equity capital,” GOL’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Lark said.
AA will acquire the shares for BRL47.03 (USD9) per share, representing a 143% premium over the last closing price. GOL confirmed that all holders of the preferred shares, including in the form of ADRs, will be able to exercise their preemptive rights to subscribe to a portion of the newly issued shares.
The transaction remains subject to both regulatory and corporate approvals and the finalisation of the terms by GOL’s Board of Directors.
The announced partnership will also upgrade the two airlines’ commercial cooperation to an “exclusive codeshare”.
“The exclusive codeshare agreement between two of the leading airlines in the Americas combines highly complementary route networks to offer customers a superior travel experience, due to the largest number of flights and destinations in North and South America,” Chief Executive Paulo Kakinoff said.
The carriers will also fully integrate their respective frequent flyer programmes starting in early 2022.
American Airlines‘ impending investment in GOL was first reported in 2019. In early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic affected the western hemisphere, the airlines signed an initial codeshare partnership. This move followed the divestment of Delta Air Lines, which held a 9% stake in GOL through late 2019. Delta’s exit was prompted by its investment in LATAM Airlines Group, which owns rival LATAM Airlines Brasil.
In Latin America, American Airlines also plans to acquire an undisclosed minority stake in Chilean low-cost carrier JetSMART.
Brazil’s largest commercial carrier by fleet size, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, is partially owned by United Airlines, which holds a 7.8% economic stake. Azul is also reportedly in talks about joining an existing United/Copa Airlines/Avianca Airlines joint business agreement.