Thomas Cook has said it is exercising an option to buy Lufthansa’s 24.9% stake in Condor for EUR77.19 million.
The agreement between Lufthansa and KarstadtQuelle AG, now known as Arcandor AG, the majority owner of Thomas Cook was drafted in December 2006. Under the terms, Thomas Cook has the right to exercise a purchase option at any time after 9 February 2009.The decision ends a year of speculation about Condor’s future. Merger talk in the German airline market has been rife over the past year. TUIfly and Germanwings initiated speculation by discussing a merger.
Thomas Cook then entered talks after Air Berlin scrapped plans to buy Condor in July, only to pull out of the proposed three-way deal in September.
Thomas Cook described the opportunity as unattractive and that Condor had “significant potential on a standalone basis”.
In October, merger talks between Germanwings and TUIfly collapsed. However in December Thomas Cook Chief Executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa said that the company wanted to progress with the take-over.
Thomas Cook will acquire the remaining Condor shares through the exercise of options granted in 2007.