Air Berlin confirmed (17-Feb-2010) it has contractually agreed with Privatstiftung Lauda (private Lauda foundation) to indirectly acquire 25.9% of the shares of NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH, increasing its current participation the Austrian LCC from 24 to 49.9%. The purchase price for the shares is EUR21 million. NIKI's integration into the Air Berlin Group increases Air Berlin's fleet size by 11 aircraft. On provisional FY2009 figures, the number of passengers transported by the Air Berlin Group will increase by 2.6 million. According to the provisional figures, NIKI achieved revenue of EUR260.2 million (up 17% year-on-year) and EBIT of EUR23.1 million (+71%). [more] The following conditions were announced:
- Air Berlin will grant Privatstiftung Lauda a EUR40.5 million loan. The foundation has the option to repay the loan in three years, either in cash or by transferring the remaining 50.1% of NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH’s shares;
- NIKI will be fully consolidated within the Air Berlin Group;
- NIKI will remain a legally independent company with its own management. Niki Lauda will remain at NIKI for at least another three years;
- The NIKI brand will continue to exist in the foreseeable future.
Air Berlin: "Following years of successful cooperation and partnership with NIKI, the increase of Air Berlin's participation is a logical development. NIKI's network complements Air Berlin's network very well. For Air Berlin, the Vienna hub opens up an additional access to the fast-growing markets of Eastern Europe." Joachim Hunold, CEO of Air Berlin PLC. Source: Air Berlin, 17-Feb-2010.
NIKI: "It is important to me that we can provide NIKI with a broad base for future growth. The intensified cooperation with Air Berlin will make us more profitable, more efficient and more attractive to the passengers." Niki Lauda, founder and Chairman of NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH. Source: Air Berlin, 17-Feb-2010.