Leading Businessman among top contenders on acquiring Sri Lankan Airlines.

A leading Sri Lankan businessman, through his company Supreme Global Holdings, has entered the race to acquire the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) process, which concluded today, saw the surprising participation of Supreme Global owned by R.M. Manivannan signaling a potentially transformative shift in the airline’s ownership and management.

Supreme Global has formed a robust consortium including MBS Investments, the investment arm of the Private Office of Sheikh Nayef Bin Eid Al Thani of Qatar, and Sherisha Technologies Private Limited, formerly known as SunEdison Energy India Private Limited.

This strategic alliance is set to bring considerable financial and operational prowess to the table, potentially tipping the scales in favor of Supreme Global’s bid to take over SriLankan Airlines, Supreme Global said in a statement.

The privatization of SriLankan Airlines comes at a critical time for the carrier, which has faced numerous challenges over the years, including financial losses and strategic misalignments.

The introduction of experienced and financially capable players like Supreme Global is expected to inject much-needed vigor and direction into the airline, Supreme Global said.

This bid is particularly noteworthy given the current geopolitical dynamics in the Indo-Lanka region.

Whilst it is believed strongly that Sherisha is backed by the Government of India, the involvement of a Sri Lankan company, alongside a powerful Indian firm and significant financial backing from a Qatari entity, symbolizes a strengthening of ties and mutual interests among these regions, Supreme Global said.

Qatar’s immense wealth and strategic investments globally make it a pivotal player in this arrangement, potentially offering Sri Lankan Airlines the chance to leverage these relationships for expanded routes, enhanced operational capabilities, and better financial stability.

Furthermore, Supreme Global Holdings has already demonstrated its commitment to Sri Lanka’s stability and growth during the recent energy crisis. The company provided a lifeline by extending over USD 1.5 billion in credit to the financially beleaguered country, along with innovative payment solutions, such as accepting Sri Lankan rupees for oil payments, which helped avert a deeper economic crisis.

The prospective acquisition of SriLankan Airlines by Supreme Global Holdings could serve as a cornerstone for further economic recovery and development in Sri Lanka. The combined expertise and resources of the consortium—spanning Sri Lanka, India, and Qatar—promise not only to revitalize the airline but also to enhance its competitive edge in the international aviation market.

As stakeholders and observers watch closely, the unfolding developments could very well redefine the future trajectory of SriLankan Airlines, turning it into a model of successful multinational cooperation in South Asia.