TPG refuses to comment on pull out of SriLankan talks

US private equity firm TPG has refused to comment on its decision to withdraw from talks to buy a 49 percent stake in state-owned SriLankan Airlines.

“TPG declines to comment,” a TPG spokesman told the Colombo Gazette in response to an email.

TPG, one of three bidders short-listed to buy a 49 percent stake in SriLankan Airlines, had pulled out of talks about the potential acquisition.

Sri Lanka has been looking to sell the minority stake in the airline along with management control, part of a broader move to reduce its holdings in state-owned firms and cut debt.

“After completing the due diligence process, regrettably TPG have informed us they will not pursue a potential investment in SriLankan Airlines,” Ajith Dias, chairman of the carrier said in an internal memo to employees, Reuters reported last weekend.

TPG, Sri Lanka-based Peace Air and a Maldivian company had been short-listed from about nine bids for the 49 percent stake, including from U.S. investment manager BlackRock Inc.

The government called for bids in July and had expected to award the restructuring process by end 2016 but it said in February the bids from the three short-listed companies were too low. (Colombo Gazette)