Volotea (V7, Barcelona El Prat) has hired investment banks Morgan Stanley and Barclays to prepare the way for a possible listing of its shares on the Madrid Stock Exchange, anonymous market sources told the newspaper Expansión on September 18.

A final decision to list has not yet been made and will depend on market conditions at the time, but the company wants its homework done to take advantage of the first opportunity that presents itself, the sources cautioned. An initial public offering (IPO) could value the company at EUR1 billion euros (USD1.07 billion), they added.

If Morgan Stanley’s and Barclays’ study of the possible placement is positive and the process is launched, the two entities will assume the role of global coordinators for the IPO or share subscription. The airline has reportedly also appointed a legal advisor for the long-planned listing, Madrid-based law firm Pérez-Llorca.

A spokeswoman for Volotea told Reuters that the two investment banks are its regular advisers, adding: “A listing on the stock market is a natural step we have always considered, but we will announce it when it happens, as we have always said.” The two banks declined to comment on the issue to the news agency.

Volotea CEO Carlos Muñoz told the business newspaper Cinco Días in December 2022 that the low-cost carrier aimed to undertake an IPO in two to three years if it returned to profitability in 2023. He told the same newspaper of this intention in June 2021, though giving a longer timeline. Previous to that, the Spanish LCC had been planning, but ultimately shelved, an IPO in 2015-2016.

Following a gruelling period during the pandemic - it reportedly endured EUR339 million (USD362 million) in Covid-related losses - auditor EY warned in September 2022 that there was uncertainty about Volotea’s ability to continue as a going concern as it posted a heavy loss for 2021 while receiving a Spanish state aid loan to help it survive.

However, on August 10, 2023, Volotea said it expected to reach between EUR93 million and EUR103 million (USD99-110 million) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first nine months of 2023, amid a 25% rise in turnover year-on-year and “a good year in which it will obtain high profitability”.