December 7, 2017 / 8:17 PM / in a year

Brazilian airline Gol considers share offering in 2018 - sources

SAO PAULO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes SA is considering a share offering in the early months of 2018, three sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The airline will discuss details of a possible transaction in coming weeks, aiming to improve its capital structure after a successful sale of $500 million in seven-year dollar bonds this week, the sources added, requesting anonymity because details of the plan have not been finalized.

Gol representatives declined to comment.

In October, Gol shares hit their highest levels in six years, as Brazil’s gradual economic recovery allowed the airline to boost ticket prices and cut debt faster than expected in the third quarter.

The airline has not yet hired banks and could yet scrap plans to sell shares, the sources said.

In the third quarter, Gol’s net debt equaled 3.4 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) down from 5.6 times a year earlier. Issuing new shares could see that ratio fall even lower, the sources added.

Gol forecast that net debt would fall to 3.0 times EBITDA next year in its preliminary 2018 operating estimates on Thursday, which forecast rising improving profit margins as more international routes and cargo traffic lift revenue.

$1 = 3.29 reais Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Susan Thomas

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