And The Air Berlin Bids Are In!

Parties interesting in acquiring all or parts of Air Berlin were required to submit bids today and the results should be in the day after the general election take place in Germany on September 25, 2017.

Airberlin

According to media reports, the parties that were expected to bid for parts of Air Berlin did so. Lufthansa, EasyJet and Condor/Niki Lauda are the main contenders for the parts of the airline.

Here’s an excerpt from Reuters (access the entire piece here):

A source familiar with the matter said Lufthansa planned to offer a three-digit millions of euros sum for up to 90 planes, including Austrian holiday airline unit Niki’s fleet and 38 crewed planes it already leases from Air Berlin.

European budget airline easyJet (EZJ.L), which media reports had said was interested in acquiring up to 40 of Air Berlin’s planes, only confirmed on Friday that it had bid for parts of Air Berlin’s short haul business.

Meanwhile former Formula One motor racing world champion Niki Lauda has put in a joint bid with German airline Condor, owned by holiday firm Thomas Cook (TCG.L), a spokeswoman for Lauda said. He had told Austrian media that he would make an offer worth around 100 million euros for Niki, an airline he once owned, and 17 Air Berlin aircraft. Thomas Cook declined to comment.

Conclusion

It is certainly interesting that the dividing of the Air Berlin’s hardly any assets takes place the day after the German elections are held. Purely a coincidence?

All these players are mainly interested in buying the crews and perhaps some slots if they can be moved as part of the deal. Air Berlin doesn’t own any of the planes. I am sure that the leasing companies are willing to lease them out at market rates to anyone.

Lufthansa probably wants to ensure that no potential competitors are entering the German market by acquiring Air Berlin assets. This is also an easy way to grow its Eurowings subsidiary.

So, we should know in less than two weeks what will happen with Air Berlin if the airline is still operating some flights by the time the remaining assets are sold on 25th. Let be clear. There won’t be an airline called Air Berlin operating flights come October or sometime in October (unless the funds dry up faster).

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