IAG to purchase Niki for $24 M
IAG intends to purchase the Austrian airline Niki for €20 million ($24 million) as well as provide up to €16.5 million to provide liquidity, Reuters reported on December 29, 2017. Earlier in December 2017, Niki ceased its operations after German carrier Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) scrapped the plans to buy it.
The assets of the Austria-based leisure airline Niki, including 15 A320 aircraft and airport slots in Austria, Germany and Switzerland would go to become the Austria-based arm of Spanish LCC Vueling, which belongs to IAG.
In October 2017, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) and Air Berlin (AB1) signed a €1.5 billion euro purchase agreement for the large parts of the troubled carrier. Additionally, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) intended to obtain Air Berlin’s (AB1) business units Niki and LG Walter for approximately €210 million.
In December 2017 Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) denounced the plans to obtain Niki, after an unsuccessful struggle to obtain the EU Commission approval. Consequently, Niki stopped operations and began insolvency proceedings, as the bankruptcy administrator of Air Berlin Group could not find another investor.
The purchase of Niki is not the first time IAG found itself in the distribution of bankrupt European airlines in 2017. In November the group also bought some airport slots of Monarch Airlines.
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