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Airline Industry

Lufthansa offers EU remedies in Brussels Airlines bid  Apr 29, 2009

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s second-largest airline, offered European Union regulators concessions in a bid to win approval for its plan to acquire a stake in Brussels Airlines.

The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust regulator in Brussels, said in an e-mailed statement that it extended a review of the deal while it considered the remedies offered by Cologne, Germany-based Lufthansa. Remedies in airline cases typically involve giving up airport slots.

The commission said in January that it had “serious doubts” about the deal’s effect on competition in routes between Belgium and Germany and Belgium and Switzerland. Lufthansa is also bidding to buy Austrian Airlines AG and has agreed to take majority control of U.K. carrier BMI.

Lufthansa’s planned investment for a 45 percent stake of Brussels Airlines is in new shares and it has an option to buy the remaining 55 percent starting in 2011 in a deal that would bring the total price to as much as 250 million euros ($325 million).

“The talks with the European Commission are in an advanced stage,” said Andreas Bartels, a Lufthansa spokesman, in a telephone interview.

Geert Sciot, a spokesman for Brussels Airlines, couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.

Lufthansa offers EU remedies in Brussels Airlines bid
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