TAP Air Portugal (TP, Lisbon) has said in an investor update that as of October 2, 2020, the Portuguese government completed the recapitalisation of TAP Air Portugal (1979) (TP, Lisbon) increasing the state's shareholding to 72.5% and finalising the exit of David Neeleman from the airline.

"David Gary Neeleman has submitted his resignation from the office of Member of the Board of Directors of TAP, which takes effect on the date hereof. David Gary Neeleman has also submitted his resignation from any other offices held in the governance structure of each of the remaining companies comprising TAP Group, including TAP SGPS, with effect from the date hereof," the carrier said.

Under the terms of a rescue deal agreed in July 2020, the Portuguese government paid EUR55 million euros (USD65 million) for Neeleman's 22.5% stake, held through his 50% participation in the Atlantic Gateway consortium. Since the state already had a 50% stake in TAP before the rescue, it now increased its holding to 72.5%.

The other partner in the consortium, Humberto Pedrosa, continues to be a 22.5% shareholder in the airline, albeit directly rather than through the Atlantic Gateway consortium, which has now formally ceased to exist.

However, on September 30, Pedrosa and his son David submitted resignations from all management positions at TAP to avoid conflict of interest with their Barraqueiro Group, a road and railway transport holding.

"David Humberto Canas Pedrosa will continue to cooperate with TAP, in particular on the restructuring process, and Barraqueiro Group will uphold its commitment with TAP Group as its reference shareholder," the airline said.

The employees own the remaining 5% stake in the airline.

The rescue deal also foresees a EUR946 million (USD1.11 billion) interest-bearing loan from the state, which can be further increased to EUR1.2 billion (USD1.4 billion).

"I always wanted the best for TAP. That was how it was in 2015 when I applied for privatisation and believed in the airline when no one else believed, and it is so today when I close the agreement with the Portuguese state to stop being a shareholder in TAP," David Neeleman wrote in a goodbye message to the staff, seen by the Lusa news agency.

Neeleman underlined that the renationalisation of TAP would "increase the shareholder stability" at TAP, which would help the airline weather the COVID-caused crisis.