Articles

Print

Lufthansa in contact with Norwegian as airlines size up deals

By Victoria Bryan, Terje Solsvik | Reuters

BERLIN/OSLO (Reuters) - Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) is in contact with Norwegian Air Shuttle, which is also the subject of bid interest from British Airways owner IAG, as the German airline looks to get involved in an expected wave of deals in the sector, its CEO told a newspaper.

Shares in Norwegian Air (NWC.OL) jumped more than 10 percent on Monday following the comments by Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr to Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

“In Europe, everyone is talking to everyone. There’s a new wave of consolidation approaching. That means we are also in contact with Norwegian,” Spohr was quoted as saying.

Asked whether Norwegian would fit with the Lufthansa group, Spohr said: “Takeovers are always a question of strategic value, the price and anti-trust. There are no easy answers.”

Norwegian reiterated on Monday that it had been approached by potential buyers and investors following an announcement in April that IAG (ICAG.L) had taken a 4.6-percent stake in the carrier.

It’s Chief Executive Bjoern Kjos confirmed to Norwegian public broadcaster NRK later on Monday that Lufthansa has been in touch with Norwegian Air’s advisors, and he had personally exchanged text messages with Lufthansa’s boss.

Kjos declined to comment on the contact, adding that he personally thought that it was “a bit too early” to sell the company.

Norwegian Air's shares closed in Oslo 10 percent higher at 274 crowns. Lufthansa shares were down 1 percent, slightly outperforming a 1.3 percent weaker DAX .GDAXI index in Germany.

After the failures of Air Berlin and Monarch last year, airline executives have predicted more consolidation this year in Europe, especially as rising oil prices make life tougher for carriers with weaker finances.

Spohr told Reuters earlier this month that Lufthansa would grab more takeover opportunities if they arose and that carriers were all in contact with each other.

“There are no negotiations or in-depth talks and it is open whether anything will come of it,” said a source with knowledge of the contact between Lufthansa and Norwegian.

Strategically speaking, Norwegian would fit well with Eurowings, Lufthansa’s low-cost brand, the source added.

“The advantage is that it’s a functioning flight operation with low costs,” the source said.

After taking over parts of Air Berlin last year and acquiring the remaining stake in Brussels Airlines to expand its Eurowings brand, Lufthansa has also eyed Alitalia, though the sale process is being held up by political turmoil.

Lufthansa had previously been interested in Scandinavian carrier SAS (SAS.ST), but two years ago said it had decided not to invest.

IAG’s CEO has said he will not engage in a bidding war for Norwegian, repeating to shareholders last week that Norwegian was not a deal the group had to do.

Additional reporting by Ilona Wissenbach in Frankfurt, Gwladys Fouche and Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo; Editing by Mark Potter and David Evans

 

CAB Hotline

Public Assistance 24/7

165-66

Secondary Numbers: PASSENGER RIGHTS ACTION DESK (PRAD)

NAIA Terminal1 0919-9128457 Laoag Airport 0998-5864834
NAIA Terminal2 0919-9128458 Legaspi Airport 0919-9128461
NAIA Terminal3 0919-9128451 Mactan-Cebu T1 0919-9128464
NAIA Terminal4 0919-9128470 Mactan-Cebu T2 To be updated
Bacolod Airport 0998-5864828 Masbate Airport To be updated
Basco Airport 0998-5864829 Naga Airport 0919-9128462
Boracay Airport 0919-9128453 Ozamis Airport 0998-5864835
Busuanga Airport 0919-9128460 Pagadian Airport 0998-5864836
Butuan Airport 0998-5864830 Puerto Princessa 0998-5864837
Camiguin Airport 0998-5864831 Roxas Airport 0998-5864838
Clark Int'l. Airport 0919-9128471 Siargao Airport 0919-9128456
Davao Int'l. Airport 0919-9128469 Surigao Airport 0998-5864839
Dipolog Airport 0998-5864832 Tacloban Airport 0998-5864840
Dumaguete Airprot 0998-5864833 Tagbilaran Airport 0919-9128465
General Santos 0919-9128467 Tuguegarao Airport 0998-5864841
Iloilo Int'l. Airport 0919-9128466 Virac Airport 0919-9128463
Kalibo Int'l. Airport 0919-9128454 Zamboanga Airport 0998-5864842
Laguindingan 0919-9128468

✆ 852-8967 (CAB Legal Office)
APBR@cab.gov.ph

Trunk Lines:
☎ (+632) 853-7259
☎ (+632) 854-5996

PRAD NAIA Terminal1 0919-9128457 PRAD Laguindingan 0919-9128468
PRAD NAIA Terminal2 0919-9128458 PRAD Laoag Airport 0998-5864834
PRAD NAIA Terminal3 0919-9128451 PRAD Legaspi Airport 0919-9128461
PRAD NAIA Terminal4 0919-9128470 PRAD Mactan-Cebu Int'l. 0919-9128464
PRAD Clark Int'l .Airport 0919-9128471 PRAD Naga Airport 0919-9128462
PRAD Bacolod Airport 0998-5864828 PRAD Ozamis Airport 0998-5864835
PRAD Basco Airport 0998-5864829 PRAD Pagadian Airport 0998-5864836
PRAD Boracay Airport 0919-9128453 PRAD Puerto Princessa 0998-5864837
PRAD Busuanga Airport 0919-9128460 PRAD Roxas Airport 0998-5864838
PRAD Butuan Airport 0998-5864830 PRAD Siargao Airport 0919-9128456
PRAD Camiguin Airport 0998-5864831 PRAD Surigao Airport 0998-5864839
PRAD Davao Int'l. Airport 0919-9128469 PRAD Tacloban Airport 0998-5864840
PRAD Dipolog Airport 0998-5864832 PRAD Tagbiliran Airport 0919-9128465
PRAD Dumaguete Airprot 0998-5864833 PRAD Tugeugarao Airport 0998-5864841
PRAD General Santos 0919-9128467 PRAD Virac Airport 0919-9128463
PRAD Iloilo Int'l .Airport 0919-9128466 PRAD Zamboanga Airport 0998-5864842
PRAD Kalibo Int'l. Airport 0919-9128454