Officials at the European Commission have approved the take over of Olympic Air by rival Aegean Airlines after a protracted dispute. The Commission originally rejected the proposal two years ago, citing concerns a merged airline would dominate the Greek market.
Aegean Airlines is planning to acquire Greek carrier Olympic Air in a deal worth €72m. Following the completion of the transaction, Olympic Air will become a subsidiary of the listed Aegean.
The Greek government has transferred control of ailing Olympic Airlines to Marfin Investment Group in a bid to restore the flag carrier to its glory days under founder Aristotle Onassis.Athens-based Marfin has paid €177.2m for Olympic, despite a bid of double the value from Aegean Airlines, a private Greek airline, which was ruled out on competition grounds.
The Greek government has agreed on a deal to sell the flying operations of Olympic Airlines to private consortium Marfin Investment Group, despite a bid of twice the value from private rival Aegean Airlines.Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis said: “The government’s legal and financial advisers informed us that the negotiations with MIG’s advisers for the sale of Olympic’s flying activities and technical base ended successfully.”
A private Greek investment consortium is about to enter take-over talks with struggling Olympic Airlines following the collapse of an international bid for the loss-making state carrier.Marfin Investment Group, an investment group led by Greek entrepreneur Andreas Vgenopoulos, said it was responding to an appeal by the government to national businesses to rescue the airline.