S7 Considers Austrian Airlines Bid

BloombergPassengers checking in for an Austrian Airlines flight at self-service terminals at Vienna International Airport.
Russian air carrier S7 is considering taking part in the contest for a stake in Austrian Airlines, S7 spokesperson Irina Kolesnikova said Monday. She declined to say whether S7 has actually placed a bid.

"We are interested in opening more international destinations," she said, adding that Austrian Airlines is a large company and has a big hub in Vienna.

OeIAG, the state holding that owns 42.75 percent of Austrian Airlines, set Aug. 24 as the deadline for potential bidders to submit a letter of intent to bid for the 157 million euro stake.

An OeIAG representative declined further comment on the transaction Monday.

State-owned Aeroflot initially expressed interest in participating but announced in late July that it is not placing a bid.

Lufthansa, Europe's second-largest carrier, declared interest in buying part of the stake Monday, a spokesperson told several news agencies.

``We have expressed our interest" in a transaction, Bettina Rittberger, a Lufthansa spokeswoman, said Monday. She declined to specify what size stake the airline would want to buy or whether a purchase by another carrier would hurt the two airlines' existing ties.

The sale would take place on the condition that an Austrian investor holds 25 percent of the airline, following the collapse of an agreement in May to sell a stake of 20 percent to a Saudi investor.

MT, Bloomberg