25 MAY 2009
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BMI, or rather its controlling shareholder BBW (The BBW Partnership Ltd), issued a very short and terse statement last week explaining that it has issued proceedings in the High Court to declare that BBW has fulfilled all the necessary regulatory requirements to complete the sale of bmi to Lufthansa AG, and seeking that Lufthansa be required to complete the acquisition of the shares. It would appear that there is no love lost between bmi and its Star Alliance partner, and potentially Europe’s largest airline, Lufthansa. Last October bmi chairman Sir Michael Bishop exercised his option to sell the BBW stake for about E400m (UKP350m). The deal had been expected to be completed by mid-January. The transaction was delayed as it was dissected by the European competition authorities, but Brussels finally gave the go-ahead last week. The problem revolves around the current value of bmi and its 14% of Heathrow slots. Rather like the BAA deal, also in this issue of AERBT, the values were agreed during stronger economic times. www.flybmi.com
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