Air Botswana to Cut More Than Half Workforce Ahead of Sale Plan

(Bloomberg) --

Air Botswana plans to reduce its workforce to 210 from 450 to prepare for the government’s latest attempt to privatize the loss-making state-owned carrier.

The job cuts will come from separating the ground-handling operation into a new unit that could then be sold to private-equity firms, Chairman Tebogo Masire told reporters in Gaborone on Tuesday. “Air Botswana must be lean and mean if it is to make money,” he said.

The government has previously tried and failed to sell Air Botswana four times between 2003 and 2017.

Options for the latest attempt include looking for an equity partner or an initial public offering, according to Letshego Moeng, who is responsible for transport at the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatization Agency. A new strategy will be finalized early next year, he said.

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