BDS$120m injection for LIAT

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, July 27, 2007 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is providing a loan and a grant to aid the intraregional airline LIAT with restructuring following its acquisition of rival Caribbean Star.

The CDB’s Board of Directors Thursday approved a BDS$120.8 million (US$60.4m) package of financing.

Of that amount BDS$1m was provided as a grant directly to LIAT while the remainder will be disbursed as loans through three member governments. Antigua and Barbuda where LIAT is based will receive $43.6m, Barbados $65.4m, and St Vincent and the Grenadines $10.8m.

“Since 2005, LIAT has been implementing a transformation strategy aimed at recapitalising the business, restructuring the airline’s financial commitments and operations, and introducing a new business model.  CDB is of the view that the maintenance of reliable and secure air services within the Region is vital to the economic development of the Bank’s borrowing member countries, particularly in support of tourism, of a critical importance to the regional integration process,” the bank said Thursday.

It did not disclose the terms and conditions of the loans.