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Lufthansa to buy large parts of bankrupt Air Berlin
12 October 2017, 04:22 | Opal Carroll
Frankfurt-based Lufthansa will sign a contract to buy 81 of Air Berlin’s 144 planes and take on 3,000 of its 8,500 staff
Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr said the giant would sign the deal, which would mean the acquisition of parts of Air Berlin, including 81 aircraft and 3,000 employees, for a price tag of 1.5 billion euros ($1.78 billion), Efe news reported.
"We will see a milestone in the history of Lufthansa and Berlin today", he said.
The deal includes Air Berlin's Austrian leisure travel airline Niki, its LG Walter regional airline and 20 further aircraft, its said in a statement, adding that the purchase price was subject to adjustments upon closing.
Air Berlin triggered bankruptcy proceedings in August after losing a cash lifeline from its biggest shareholder Etihad Airways.
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Meanwhile, unions have complained that many of Air Berlin's staff faced an uncertain future despite promises when talks with Lufthansa and Easyjet began that most would find jobs with the bidders. 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.
Germany's biggest airline Lufthansa is set to buyout Air Berlin.
Air Berlin, which accumulated debt for nearly a decade, reported a record loss of €782m (£713m) for previous year. It also announced it would be reducing the number of destinations it flies to from 140 to 70.
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