Lufthansa has emerged as potential bidder for low-cost carrier Norwegian, writes Jill Sayles.
Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the airline was “in contact with Norwegian”. He said that there was: “a new wave of consolidation approaching”. Subsequently, shares in Norwegian jumped more than 10% yesterday.
Lufthansa’s interest rivals that of IAG, the owner of British Airways, who bought a 4.6% stake in Norwegian in April.
A Norwegian Air spokesperson said the firm had “received enquiries from several parties following the International Airlines Group’s (IAG) acquisition of 4.6% of the shares in the company”.
They added: “These parties have expressed indicative and preliminary interest in share acquisitions, mergers, structured transactions, financing of the group and various forms of operational and financial cooperation.”
Lufthansa owns its own low-cost brand Eurowings and a source said that Norwegian would fit well with it: “The advantage is that it’s a functioning flight operation with low costs.”
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh confirmed last week that the group remained interested in Norwegian “at the right price”.