The Togolese government has acquired a 14.39% stake in ASKY Airlines (KP, Lomé) for XOF6 billion CFA franc (USD9.8 million) according to the terms of an agreement signed in Lomé on August 21 by Minister of Economy and Finance, Sani Yaya, and ASKY founder Gervais Djondo.

Also present were representatives from other key shareholders, including Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Mesfin Tasew Bekele, ECOWAS Bank for Investment (BIDC) president and chairman George Agyekum Donkor, and West African Development Bank (Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement - BOAD) president Serge Ekué. Other shareholders in ASKY include Ecobank, South Africa's Sakhumnotho Group Holding, and West and Central African private investors.

"This initiative marks an important step in strengthening ties between ASKY and Togo, as well as in the continued development of the aviation sector in the sub-region," the airline announced on social media.

"We are firmly convinced that this acquisition of a stake of XOF6 billion CFA francs, or 14.39% of ASKY's share capital by the state, will undoubtedly contribute to the financial and operational consolidation of this airline, to which the Head of State and the government are paying the utmost attention," commented Minister Yaya.

He said the move aligns with Togo's ambition to become a regional logistics hub. "For the government, taking a stake in ASKY's capital is, therefore, more than just a financial investment. For the state, it is a strategic investment in line with its policy of integrating the sub-region and opening up our country to the rest of the world," Yaya said. As reported, ASKY is working with Ethiopian Airlines to establish a cargo joint venture.

For their part, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Mesfin Tasew Bekele and ASKY CEO Esayas Woldemariam Hailu said the government's investment would provide a significant infusion of funding to support the airline's ambitious projects.

News that the Togolese government was in advanced talks for a minority share in ASKY was confidentially disclosed to ch-aviation in June 2023. Insiders told ch-aviation the government's share was acquired from private investors in ASKY and did not change the size of the major shareholders' stake in the airline.

In 2021, ASKY said it was looking to double its share capital to XOF60 billion (USD105.7 million) to accelerate its pan-African expansion and consolidate Lomé's role as a regional hub. Commercial and Ground Operations Director Nowel Ngala said the airline's strong financial performance in 2022 had attracted keen investor interest.