Lufthansa eyes Brussels Airlines deal
Germany’s biggest airline is in talks with Brussels Airlines’ owner on acquiring 45 percent of the company.29 August 2008
BERLIN -- Deutsche Lufthansa AG said Thursday that it is in talks with the owner of Belgium's Brussels Airlines on a deal that would see it take 45 percent of the company, with an option to take it over fully later.
Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline, said that it is in "constructive negotiations" with SN Airholding SA/NV, the owner of Brussels Airlines - which operates flights from the Belgian capital and has yet to enter one of the major aviation alliances.
Lufthansa said it plans initially to take 45 percent of SN Airholding via a capital increase, at a proposed price of EUR 65 million.
"After two years and beyond, Lufthansa would be authorised to exercise an acquisition option for the remaining 55 percent," a Lufthansa statement said. "The price of this option is linked to the prospective performance of Brussels Airlines."
Lufthansa, which already owns Swiss International Airlines, said it plans to examine SN Airholding and tie up negotiations over details in the next few weeks.
Lufthansa said it envisions Brussels Airlines continuing to operate independently after a deal.
It added that the planned investment still requires approval from its own supervisory board, from the board and shareholders of the Belgian company, and from antitrust authorities.
Brussels Airlines started operating in 2007. It combined the budget Virgin Express airline with SN Brussels Airlines - the successor to former Belgian flag-carrier Sabena, which went bankrupt in 2001.
[AP / Expatica]