Belfast Telegraph

British Airways owner IAG in line for Niki takeover, reports say

The company is reportedly in exclusive talks with administrators.

British Airways owner IAG is reportedly in negotiations to take over Austrian airline Niki as the final assets of collapsed Air Berlin are sold off.

IAG was one of four parties that were bidding for the business, but as of this afternoon, the company was in exclusive talks with administrators, according to Reuters citing sources.

The company had put in a double-digit million euro offer, reports said, with Thomas Cook, TUI and Niki founder and Formula One champion Niki Lauda no longer in the running.

IAG declined to comment.

It comes after Lufthansa ditched plans to buy Niki after the European Commission raised competition concerns over the deal earlier this month.

Niki is one of the final assets yet to secure a buyer after Air Berlin collapsed earlier this year.

The German airline declared bankruptcy in August after its biggest shareholder Gulf airline Etihad withdrew financial support for the loss-making airline.

Budget carrier easyJet snapped up part of Air Berlin’s operation for 40 million euro (£35.2 million), which included a raft of landing slots as well as the rights to operate passenger transport at Berlin Tegel Airport.

Its acquisition was unconditionally approved by EU authorities who said it would not impact airline competition due to the presence of rival carriers including Lufthansa and Ryanair.

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