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Air Berlin to buy airline from Thomas Cook

21 September 2007

Air Berlin, the biggest German discount airline, has reached agreement to buy Condor Flugdienst from the tour operator Thomas Cook for up to €475 million in stock to add routes and planes.

The stock portion of the deal, valued at $667 million, would leave Thomas Cook, based in Britain, with 29.99 percent of Air Berlin stock, Thomas Cook said Thursday. It will also receive €120 million in cash.

Condor is Air Berlin’s third major purchase in a year as the carrier seeks to compete with its larger rivals, Ryanair Holdings and EasyJet. For Thomas Cook, the second-largest European travel agency after TUI Travel, the deal fits with a strategy of scaling down operating assets to reduce risk following its merger with MyTravel Group in June.

source: International Herald Tribune

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