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Lufthansa to Complete Takeover of Brussels Airlines

Lufthansa is moving forward with a takeover of Brussels Airlines, buying the rest of the business it doesn’t already own.

On Wednesday, Lufthansa Group announced it would be taking over Brussels Airlines by acquiring the remaining 55 percent of SN Airholding—Brussels Airlines’ parent company—that it doesn’t already own.

“It remains the common objective of Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines to conduct the full acquisition of SN Airholding by Deutsche Lufthansa AG after the final agreement on the modalities of the exercise of the call option with the SN Airholding shareholders by the end of this year, and to conclude the transaction at the beginning of 2017,” Lufthansa Group said in a release.

Brussels Airlines was already part of Lufthansa’s frequent flier program, Miles and More. How the acquisition will affect the airline is still up for debate. Reuters notes that Brussels Airlines could become part of Lufthansa’s Eurowings business, or it could remain its own standalone brand, similar to Lufthansa’s Austrian and Swiss airline operations.

Back in 2009, Lufthansa bought 45 percent of SN Airholding for about $73 million, and had the option to acquire the remainder of the business starting in 2011. Since then, Lufthansa loaned Brussels Airlines 45 million euros, leaving only a remainder purchase price of 2.6 million euros to acquire the rest of SN Airholding.

Reuters said the decision to complete the acquisition was delayed after the terrorist attacks in Belgium earlier this year. MarketWatch reported that those attacks made Brussels Airlines suffer major setbacks as it scrambled to rearrange flights.

[Photo: Brussels Airlines]

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