Portugal gets 3 offers in privatization of national airline

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese officials are evaluating three bids submitted for a 61 percent stake in TAP Air Portugal as the government makes a second attempt to privatize the flag carrier.

The airline and government experts are expected to report on the merits of each bid by the end of May. The government may then announce a winner, or select one or more bidders for further negotiations.

Officials declined to name the bidders, saying the offers are confidential.

The government has said it hopes to complete the sale by the end of June though the deal would still need regulators' consent, which could take several months.

A 2012 attempt to sell the debt-heavy airline collapsed after the sole bidder failed to provide the required financial guarantees.

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