New Delhi: Brussels Airlines is embarking on a new future with Lufthansa. Lufthansa Chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber and SN Airholding Chairman Eitienne Davignon have signed an agreement, which initially envisages a strategic stake in SN Airholding SA/NV and, in a second step, the full integration of the Belgian carrier in the Lufthansa Group. The agreement still requires the approval of the regulatory authorities and the Lufthansa Supervisory Board as well as the Board of Directors and shareholders of SN Airholding SA/NV.
In a first step, Lufthansa is taking out a stake of 45% in SN Airholding SA/NV for €65 million via a capital increase. After securing the air traffic rights of Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa will then have an option of acquiring the remaining 55% from 2011. It would then wholly-own the Belgian carrier.
The price for taking up the remaining 55% depends on performance-related factors so that the cost for complete acquisition of Brussels Airlines could amount to a maximum of €250 million.
The jointly drafted integration model is shaped along the lines of the successful cooperation between Lufthansa and SWISS: It envisages that Brussels Airlines will operate as a largely independent company in the Lufthansa Group subject to its uniformly formulated targets, strategic guidelines and financial resources. It also stipulates that, after exercise of the option, Brussels Airlines should retain its headquarters and management in Brussels. It will continue operating and developing its strengths under its familiar brand with its own aircraft and crew, and expand its local advantages in the Belgian market. That includes a demand-driven route network including intercontinental connections. The Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich will complement the overall services offered to customers in accordance with specific market potential, customers’ preferences and cost structures. The integration is designed to enable Brussels Airlines to operate in a demanding market environment, to develop further, attain its growth targets and raise its profitability, and thereby offer customers and staff better long-term perspectives.