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8/17/2017, 3:54 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Germany seeks major part of Air Berlin for Lufthansa

As Air Berlin Plc and Co. Luftverkehrs KG went under water, the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel launched efforts for Deutsche Lufthansa AG to acquire a "significant" piece of the carrier, said Alexander Dobrindt, transportation minister. In remarks published by Rheinische Post on Thursday, he revealed Germany is aspiring to build "a national champion" in the sector. Other media speculation indicated it may opt to take over the majority of the company.

After Etihad Airways, the largest shareholder, withdrew support, the government in Berlin has secured a three-month €150 million bridge loan for the bankrupt carrier. Of note, Ryanair Holdings Ltd. has subsequently slammed the German cabinet and the two firms, accusing them of "conspiracy" and "artificial insolvency."

Achim Wanbach, the head of the Monopolies Commission, told the newspaper the largest enterprise in the sector and Air Berlin, the second-biggest player in the country, are competitors in substantial parts of the market. The insolvent transportation company's chief Thomas Winkelman said two other publicly traded investors are in talks about a transaction. EasyJet Plc and Thomas Cook Group's Condor Flugdienst GmbH may be interested, reporters learned.

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