EUROPE & CIS: Lufthansa may walk away from BMI deal

Lufthansa has indicated it may walk away from its takeover deal for BMI, over the the issue of capital restructuring, according to a Financial Times report. If successful it will own about 80 per cent of shares, but obstructing the deal is the issue of who will pay for the capital restructuring, with BMI management […]


Lufthansa has indicated it may walk away from its takeover deal for BMI, over the the issue of capital restructuring, according to a Financial Times report. If successful it will own about 80 per cent of shares, but obstructing the deal is the issue of who will pay for the capital restructuring, with BMI management saying it’s not needed. The German carrier is also said to be seeking up to €500 million in ‘restructuring’ aid.

Lufthansa also has a number of other takeovers in various stages of completion, including Brussels Airline and Austrian although European Union officials are said to be undertaking an extensive review of the effects on route competition. Lufthansa signed a deal with Brussels Airline in 2008 giving it an 88 per cent stake in Austrian.

Lufthansa finance chief Stephan Gemkow told the Financial Times the company wants to be a major player in Europe, “which will automatically make us one of the most attractive partners in the region for airlines outside Europe.”

Meanwhile, Lufthansa says it is also talking to Scandinavia’s SAS about “closer commercial co-operation”, but denied it was seeking a takeover. SAS holds 20 per cent of BMI’s shares. Lufthansa has also signalled its interest in a merger deal with Spanish carrier Iberia, should current talks between British Airways fall through.