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Gov’t: EDB sold its stake in Seaborne prior to bankruptcy filing

Seaborne is in bankruptcy reorganization, en route to selling itself to Silver Airways.

The Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank confirmed Wednesday the government entity will not be harmed by Seaborne Airlines bankruptcy filing, as it sold its 20 percent stake in the company last summer in anticipation of this decision.

In July 2017, the EDB sold its stake of Seaborne shares to Versa Capital Management, owner of Silver Airways, which is now pitching to buy the San Juan-based airline through the reorganization process, as this media outlet reported.

The EDB sold its stake for $500,ooo, a small fraction of the $9 million the government invested in 2014.

As part of the negotiation, Versa Capital has vowed to maintain Seaborne’s jobs, as well as its San Juan headquarters.

“We trust that by implementing a rigorous restructuring plan under the Bankruptcy Code, the Seaborne operation will remain afloat, a goal that the current administration has always had,” said Puerto Rico Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Laboy.

The EDB’s sale of its shares in Seaborne Airlines came after the institution’s executive team concluded in early 2017, that Seaborne’s financial structure lacked the operational capital needed to reach the initial projections it provided in the 2104 share deal, and that the company’s management was ineffective, Burdiel said.

“The EDB’s actions have been guided by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s public policy that the private sector, not the government, is the real engine to promote Puerto Rico’s economic development,” Burdiel said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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