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No 'back-door merger': Novick hits back at claims of conflict, big demands in SAA showdown

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Gidon Novick
Gidon Novick
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Gidon Novick, a key member of SAA's chosen equity partner, who recently resigned from its board, has hit back at claims that relations soured over a failed attempt to merge startup airline LIFT with the national carrier at a price tag of over R1 billion.

Novick, formerly the co-CEO of kulula.com, co-founded LIFT. He stepped down from the board of the Takatso consortium, which is acquiring a 51% stake in SAA, alleging a lack of transparency over the status of the deal and concerns over its financing.

Business Times reported at the weekend that, according to unnamed sources, Takatso's minority shareholders Global Aviation Operations and its partner Syranix – who run LIFT as a joint venture – wanted "north of a billion for a company with two leased assets", a reference to the two aircraft that the startup initially leased for domestic flights.

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