Lufthansa buys final 20% of BMI
Thursday 01 October 2009
Lufthansa has bought the final 20 per cent of British Midland (BMI) for £19m, paving the way for sale of the UK airline and potentially sparking a bidding war between rivals British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic.
The German carrier bought out BMI founder Sir Michael Bishop for £175m – only £48m of which was for the 50 per cent-plus one share of the stock. The SAS deal – which includes another £19m to terminate other agreements – gives the Lufthansa-controlled UK holding company, LHBD, total ownership.
Although Lufthansa’s official line is that its number one priority is to return the loss-making BMI to profitability, it says it is looking at all the options for its future. A whole raft of other airlines are understood to have looked at BMI’s books when they were opened up by Lufthansa earlier this month, although by far the most vocal are BA and Virgin.
Earlier this week, Willie Walsh, the BA chief executive, reiterated his interest in BMI and said as soon as Lufthansa puts it on the market he will make a formal bid.
BA has the most compelling strategic case, according to Gert Zonneveld at Panmure Gordon. BMI would add another 11 per cent of Heathrow’s take-off and landing slots to BA’s existing 42 per cent share, potentially enabling the airline to pull out of Gatwick altogether. “There would be huge benefits both in terms of connecting traffic and cost savings in having everything at Heathrow,” Mr Zonneveld said.
For Virgin, a BMI takeover would be another step in its transformation from a point-to-point airline to a fully-fledged network carrier as the BMI network was used to feed into Virgin’s long haul routes.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Iraq crisis: Government forces execute 255 Sunni prisoners in revenge for Isis atrocities, says report
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...