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December 16, 2008

Lufthansa to Acquire Austrian Airlines

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Frankfurt, – Commercial carrier Lufthansa announced it will initially acquire a 41.56 percent share in Austrian Airlines AG held by Österreichische Industrieholding AG (ÖIAG). In addition to this, a debtor warrant will be arranged, of which Lufthansa will pay a sum of up to EUR 162m depending on Austrian Airlines’ economic performance and the Lufthansa share outperforming its competitors.

Lufthansa will also make a public takeover bid to Austrian Airlines’ free float shareholders. The company is applying to the Austrian Takeover Commission for an extension of the notification period to the longest permissible time.

Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chief Executive Officer Lufthansa Group, said: “Gaining the support of our Supervisory Board for the acquisition of Austrian Airlines is an important step which paves the way for ÖIAG, the government in Vienna and the European Commission to make their decisions following due consideration of the transaction. Our bid is fair. It takes the interests of all those concerned into account and shares the encumbrances and risks fairly. The consequences of the financial markets crisis and its effects on the real economy also have a major impact on the aviation industry. Structural changes increase the likelihood of Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines sharing a brighter future.”

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