Lufthansa moves to take over Austrian Airlines
German airline Lufthansa has submitted plans to take over Austrian Airlines (AUA) to the European Union competition authorities, with the Austrians expecting a ruling in the middle of June.
Lufthansa made an offer for its Austrian counterpart in February, and has already agreed a price for the 75 percent share it has targeted – including a nominal payment for the Austrian government’s 41.56 percent.
The Austrian government pledged to take on around €500 million of AUA’s debt, a fact which prompted a number of competitor airlines such as Air France-KLM, British Airways and Ryanair, to complain that Lufthansa would be profiting from state aid should it buy AUA.
EU transport commissioner Antonio Tajani said in March that the takeover should not be much of a problem, despite the participation of the Austrian government.
The ruling is expected to be delivered on June 17, a spokesman for Neelie Kroes, the EU competition commissioner.