June 06, 2007

Paramount Airways on the prowl

Madurai-based Paramount Airways is looking at acquiring a west India-based airline this year and plans to follow it up with at least two more acquisitions in the north and east.

Paramount Airways managing director M. Thiagarajan said his company was considering taking over an airline whose operations were based in the west, but refused to confirm or deny rumours that the target was the Wadia family-owned Go Air.

Thiagarajan said by 2009, his company would consider acquiring outfits in the north and by 2011, would look at a pan-India presence. Sources said he was also looking at acquiring an airline network in the east by 2011.

There are, however, few small airlines in the north or east with a sizeable market presence that may interest Paramount.

Thiagarajan refused to reveal the amount set aside for his takeover plans. But banking sources said the airline may spend up to Rs 500 crore on the current acquisition target of Go Air.

Paramount, which has a 24 per cent share of the southern market, wants to grow inorganically as well as organically, officials said.

The airline specialises in flying on less frequented feeder routes.

Thiagarajan also plans to buy 40 Embraer 70-seater jets for $2 billion.

Source: www.telegraphindia.com

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