European Commission and US anti-trust approval received for Lufthansa?s takeover of SWISS
Moving forward together: new partnership to offer tangible passenger benefits
The European Commission and the US competition authorities have given their approval to the takeover of Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. by Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The securing of European and US anti-trust approval paves the way for SWISS?s integration into the Lufthansa Group.
?This is a partnership for all our customers,? says Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa. ?Lufthansa and SWISS deliver quality mobility to and from Europe. Following our successful public purchase offer and the plans to welcome SWISS to Star Alliance, these regulatory approvals mark a further milestone on our joint journey forward. And in just a few weeks? time, the customers of our two airlines will be feeling the first benefits that our partnership will bring.?
?The green light from Brussels and Washington gives us the opportunity to ensure the long-term future of the air transport connections that are so crucial to Switzerland and its economy,? adds Christoph Franz, President and CEO of SWISS. ?With Lufthansa and SWISS, we are seeing the team-up of two globally-reputed airlines with the same strong commitment to superior service and quality. Following today?s approval, we can now offer our customers more destinations, better connections, integrated frequent flyer programmes, greater lounge access and much more besides.?
Its new partnership with SWISS will enable Lufthansa to further consolidate and develop its position as a leading international network carrier. From the start of the 2005/06 winter schedules, all customers of both airlines will be offered an expanded global network of products and services. Members of Miles & More and Swiss TravelClub will be offered enhanced services and further benefits over the course of the summer.
The European Commission has agreed certain measures with Lufthansa and SWISS to ensure adequate market access for possible new competitors. These centre largely on making landing and takeoff slots available to other carriers on various European and intercontinental routes. US anti-trust approval has been granted unconditionally.
The Swiss-domiciled AirTrust company will be paying the agreed purchase price of CHF 8.96 per share to minority shareholders who have tendered their SWISS shares under the recent public purchase offer within the next ten days. Parallel to this, Lufthansa will increase its shareholding in AirTrust from the present 11 per cent to 49 per cent. Once the current negotiations to secure SWISS?s traffic rights have been successfully concluded and corresponding agreements have been obtained, Lufthansa will raise its holding in SWISS to a full 100 per cent (in 2006 at the earliest).
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