Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa rumoured to be in merger talk
Thursday, 29 May 2008: Reports are coming in that Virgin Atlantic could be interested in a merger with Lufthansa if the German carrier secures control of BMI.
Lufthansa currently controls 30% of BMI, but is looking at possibly upping that to a majority stake; if this occurs Virgin Atlantic could be interested in merging with Lufthansa, with owner Richard Branson still holding a 51% share, reports financial news-source City AM.
“Virgin would be interested in linking up with Lufthansa if its deal with BMI goes through at the end of the year,” a City AM source familiar with both carriers had been reported saying.
“A three-way tie up between Virgin, Lufthansa and BMI would give all three firms a bigger presence at Heathrow, as well as a beefed up short-haul and long-haul networks.”
Lufthansa currently holds an option which would allow it to take control of BMI. It will cost the carrier GBP440 million to take up the offer.