Lufthansa board approves takeover of Brussels Airlines

Lufthansa board approves takeover of Brussels Airlines

Lufthansa board approves takeover of Brussels Airlines

In a statement, Lufthansa said it aims to reach a final agreement on the "modalities" of the exercise of the call option with SN Airholding shareholders by the end of the year.

The renting of Air Berlin planes will allow Lufthansa to bolster its low-priced offering, while letting Air Berlin reduce its fleet after failing to return profits amid increased competition in the budget aviation industry.

In a separate statement, Lufthansa said it planned to add 35 of those planes to its own low-priced carrier, Eurowings, and five to subsidiary Austrian Airlines.

Air Berlin shareholder Etihad Airways is talking with travel company TUI about a possible combination of airline TUIfly and Air Berlin's Austrian subsidiary Niki. It said the planes would fly from the summer schedule starting on March 26, 2017.

Lufthansa bought 45 percent of Brussels Airlines owner SN Airholding in 2009 for 65 million euros ($73 million), with an option to acquire the rest from 2011.

The shares will be acquired through the exercise of a call option, the German airline said.

Belgian media have reported that due to a technicality, Lufthansa could snap up the remainder of the airline for as little as 2.6 million euros - because Brussels Airlines still owes the German carrier an outstanding debt of 45 million euros. The governance of Brussels Airlines in 2017 is also on the agenda.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA.XE) said it would proceed with the takeover of Brussels Airlines after deferring the decision earlier this year in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Belgium.

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