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Virgin and SN Brussels ‘mulling merger’

Published on 05/03/2004

5 March 2004

BRUSSELS – Virgin Express and SN Brussels Airlines (SNBA) are discussing the possibility of merging their operations, several Belgian newspapers reported on Friday.

The two airlines fly out of Belgium’s main international airport at Zaventem near Brussels, and many analysts say it would make sense for the two carriers to join forces.

According to SNBA, the two sides are carrying on with talks they started last September and are planning to announce some sort of agreement during the coming two months.

“Until then all our options remain open,” said a company spokesman quoted this week.

But Virgin sounds less upbeat about the possibility of a merger.

“The situation has not yet developed,” the carrier, which is part owned by bearded British millionaire Richard Branson, said in a statement.

However, Virgin did make it clear that if the two companies did merge, it and not SNBA would be the most influential partner in a new venture.

“If our talks do lead to a merger, Sir Richard Branson, who heads Virgin Express, would be by far the biggest single shareholder in the new company,” Virgin sources said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news