Gol Enjoys a Friendly Boost from Delta

12/07/2011 3:45 pm EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

This morning, Delta Air Lines (DAL) announced an agreement to buy a $100 million minority position in Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes (GOL).

The agreement would give Gol, Brazil’s second-biggest airline, a counter to the hookup of Tam (TAM), Brazil’s largest airline, with Lan Airlines (LFL), Latin America’s largest airline. And it would give Delta a way to win some market share in Latin America, a market where it trails American Airlines and United Continental Holdings (UAL).

Gol’s US-traded ADRs (American Depositary Receipts) were up 4.9% as of 2:20 p.m. New York time on the news. (Gol is a member of my Jubak Picks 50 long-term portfolio.)

The agreement, which gives Delta 3% of Gol, will also give Delta a seat on the Brazilian airline’s board of directors. (Delta has agreed not to sell the stake for at least 12 months, and not to buy additional shares without Gol’s permission.)

The two airlines will shares booking codes on flights so that they can take reservations for travel on either airline. They will also honor each other’s frequent-flyer programs.

This is Delta’s second investment in a foreign airline this year. In August, Delta paid $65 million for a piece of Grupo Aeromexico.

Full disclosure: I don’t own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this post in my personal portfolio. The mutual fund I manage, Jubak Global Equity Fund , may or may not now own positions in any stock mentioned in this post. The fund did own shares in Gol and Lan as of the end of September. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of September, see the fund’s portfolio here.

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