October 29, 2008

Lufthansa to Take Control of Bmi

German airline Lufthansa said it would purchase control of Bmi, a British airline, for an undisclosed price.

Lufthansa will buy out Michael Bishop, who has held controlling interest in Bmi for 30 years, owning 50 percent plus one share of the airline, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The deal shifts the landscape at Heathrow Airport, where Bmi owns 11 percent of the takeoff and landing slots, the Telegraph said.

The undisclosed price was based on the $149.25 million paid when Lufthansa purchased 20 percent of Bmi in 1999, the report said.

Since the 1999 purchase, Lufthansa has increased its share of Bmi to 30 percent minus one share.

Industry analysts have said the price of the new deal was around $521 million.

The deal, which is expected to close in January, would give Lufthansa a greater capacity to reach U.S. customers, as Heathrow is North America's largest entryway to Europe, the newspaper said.