Tanzania aviation news – One last stumbling stone for Precision Air IPO

Official Tanzania has apparently tried to throw one last spanner in the works of the ongoing IPO sale of shares by the countrys leading airline, when vital documents from the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange were delivered late to several leading banks participating in the launch. Subsequently some banks were compelled to defer the start of handing out application forms until Monday, prompting yet more rumours of sabotage, something which has often been suspected in the past too.
Inspite of the Tanzanian governments verbal assurances towards private enterprise, it has seemingly never been too comfortable with the idea per se, and constant financial bailouts for failed Air Tanzania, instead of throwing its weight behind a successful private company, have more than once raised eyebrows amongst aviation observers, that the playing field was being tilted in against Precision Air.
Long and arguably deliberate delays in granting the airline self handling status and allowing it to break away from having to use the services of an overpriced near monopolist and the failure by TAA to connect in a timely fashion Precision Airs multi million US Dollar hangar maintenance facility with a taxiway to the rest of airport in Dar es Salaam are only two examples of how the odds were stacked against Precision.
The airlines partnership with Kenya Airways, which until now was holding 49 percent but will in the process of the IPO see its shareholding reduced to around 30 percent, has often been cited by close political observers as the main cause of the mental rejection of the carrier by leading politicians who are known to stoke paranoia against the neighbouring country using sentiments rooted in the developments of the 1970s when in the wake of the breakup of the old East African Community Tanzania shut her borders with Kenya for several years.
An attempted IPO launch earlier in the year was brought to an abrupt halt when the DSE cited a winding up petition against Precision Air as reason to stop the process, but the legal case was largely seen as frivolous and politically inspired, over an alleged claim of about 100.000 US Dollars vis a vis a business worth dozens of millions of US Dollars, eventually compelling the DSE to permit the process to resume.
About 59 million shares will be sold through a process of application, and the launch is expected to be oversubscribed by financial pundits in Dar es Salaam and the wider region. Other financial institutions reported keen interest by potential investors on the first day of the IPO. Precision is the third largest airline in the wider East African region behind partners Kenya Airways and Ethiopian and going places considering their past performance and future plans for fleet and network expansion. Watch this space.

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