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Brazil Entrepreneur Buys Transbrasil, To Invest $225 Million

SAO PAULO (Dow Jones News) - Entrepreneur Dilson Prado da Fonseca is taking over grounded Brazilian carrier Transbrasil Airlines SA, according to statements on the local stock exchange.

He replaces airline president and key shareholder Antonio Celso Cipriani. Prado da Fonseca, who has the backing of a number of companies, plans to invest an initial $25 million to get Transbrasil flying again.

Another $200 million will be pumped into the company, of which $85 million will be invested almost immediately and the rest over the next 180 days.

The new owners plan to increase Transbrasil's fleet of planes to seven from five.

Prado da Fonseca, former president of Goias-state air taxi service Fly Brasil, has until Feb. 3 to get Transbrasil off the ground before the airline loses its routes and slots. Transbrasil stopped flying in early December when it could no longer pay for its fuel.

According to reports, one of the companies backing the entrepreneur is Kansas-based Dodson International - a carrier parts group.

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