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Poland's LOT keeps options open in difficult hunt for investor

MIAMI, June 7 (Reuters) - Polish state-owned carrier LOT is looking at other airlines, private equity or an initial public offering (IPO) in its continuing search for an investor following restructuring, its chief executive told Reuters on Sunday.

"We're looking at airlines, private equity or getting an anchor investor via an IPO," Sebastian Mikosz told Reuters on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meeting in Miami.

"There's definitely no rush, it's not a firesale," Mikosz said, adding it was tough to find an investor willing to buy into an airline.

"It's really difficult. The more we restructure the better our chances," he said.

European carriers have consolidated much less than their counterparts in the United States, with few of the major airlines currently in a position to look at buying rivals.

British Airways and Iberia owner IAG is bidding for Irish carrier Aer Lingus (LSE: AERL.L - news) and the Portuguese government is privatising TAP. In terms of IPOs, low-cost carrier Wizz managed to list earlier this year, eight months after a previous failed attempt.

One of the issues being discussed at the IATA meeting will look at how to make airlines more investible.

LOT, one of the world's oldest airlines, which has been in operation for over 85 years, is coming out of a period of restructuring after receiving state aid.

Under the rules governing such aid, the carrier may start to grow routes and frequencies from 2016. An announcement on growth plans for 2016 will be made in the next couple of weeks, Mikosz said. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan, Editing by Tim Hepher)

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