Lufthansa to acquire majority of insolvent Air Berlin


Lufthansa to acquire majority of insolvent Air Berlin

"We will see a milestone in the history of Lufthansa and Air Berlin today", he said.

Lufthansa is poised to agree a deal to buy assets from insolvent Air Berlin, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, ahead of a deadline on Thursday.

Germany's largest airline is expected to buy Air Berlin's low-priced leisure airline Niki, its LG Walter regional airline as well as more than half of Air Berlin's A320 fleet.

German airline Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy on August 15 after its main shareholder, Etihad, said it would not give further financial support.

Analysts at Bernstein Research raised their rating on Lufthansa's shares to "outperform" from "market-perform", saying they expected a deal with Air Berlin to add around €70 to €90m to annual operating profits at Lufthansa's budget unit Eurowings in the medium term.

News of the impeding deal was well received by analysts, with strategists at HSBC lifting the target price on Lufthansa shares from €25 to €29.

It said late last month that negotiations with Lufthansa and Britain's easyJet would continue until October 12.

Meanwhile, analysts at Bernstein Research raised their rating on Lufthansa's shares to "outperform" from "market-perform", forecasting the deal with Air Berlin will add between €70m to €90m to annual operating profits at Lufthansa's low-priced subsidiary Eurowings in the medium term. The easyJet aspect of the deal appears to be considerably less certain than that with Lufthansa however, with negotiations reportedly still ongoing.

Meanwhile German family-owned logistics firm Zeitfracht said it had made a new offer for Air Berlin's cargo marketing platform and its maintenance business with a partner.