2007-08-12 - Air BerlinAir Berlin's LTU takeover goes ahead
Kartellamt genehmigt Übernahme von LTU<br /> The German Federal Cartel Office has agreed to Air Berlin's LTU acquisition without any restrictions.
Already end of March Air Berlin announced the intention to buy LTU and issued a capital increase and a convertible bond offering. The agreed price for LTU was 140 million. Additionally, Air Berlin offered to pay 200 million Euro for LTU's existing debts. Air Berlin's CEO, Joachim Hunold, welcomed the decision of the Federal Cartel Office: "We finally got the strategic decision that we hoped for. Nevertheless, it is regrettable that this process took so long. Therefore, synergies could not be exploited during this year as planned. We were not able to adjust summer flight time tables of both airlines."
Meanwhile, a tariff agreement with ver.di trade unions has cleared the way: 600 people who have been working for LTU in Düsseldorf and Munich and for Air Berlin in Düsseldorf will now be working for "Air Berlin Luftfahrttechnik Düsseldorf GmbH", under the umbrella of "Air Berlin Technik Ltd." (London). They will shortly be joined by the 130 employees from dba-Technik in Munich. "Air Berlin Technik Berlin GmbH" will also be part of the group, which will then have 1,100 employees. The plan is that this new, independent technical division will not only be servicing the Air Berlin fleet, consisting of 130 aircraft, but will also be developing further third-party business. Air Berlin is hoping that by merging these technical operations it will achieve better utilisation of the facilities at the individual sites and a reduction in technical costs. The intention is also to separate these activities from seasonal flight operations.
Also, for the first time, Air Berlin, Germany's second largest airline, concluded payment contracts and framework agreements on employment conditions for the flying staff: for the pilots with "Vereinigung Cockpit" (VC) (the association for pilots) and for the flight attendants with ver.di, the trade union for the service sector. Air Berlin and Vereinigung Cockpit declared concurrently: "In view of the continuing processes of concentration in the German airline industry Air Berlin and Vereinigung Cockpit jointly defined the necessity of cooperation to be the fundamental precondition for a successful development of the newly emerging business structure. After intensive preliminary discussions both parties therefore agreed on concluding a contract of payment and framework agreements on employment conditions on the basis of the present actual working conditions at Air Berlin, which become effective as of 1 August 2007. In addition they agreed on starting negotiations on establishing an employee union representation for the cockpit staff. In addition, Air Berlin announced that the contract of payment is valid until 31 December 2008; and the framework agreements on employment conditions until 31 December 2009.