2007-09-23 - Condor and Air BerlinThomas Cook merges Condor with Air Berlin

Air Berlin expandiert weiter<br /> Thomas Cook Group plc will merge its stake in Condor Flugdienst GmbH with Air Berlin PLC. Air Berlin therewith becomes one of the leading European airlines and will with Condor be able to enlarge its long-distance flight business, which itruns since the acquisition of LTU.

Thomas Cook Group is consequently executing on its Asset Light-Strategy as promised. Both partners expect positive synergies of at least EUR 70 million. Thomas Cook will receive at least EUR 500 million in shares and cash and has the option to gain a total amount of EUR 600 million over the positive share price development of Air Berlin. Through the integration of Condor into Air Berlin Thomas Cook will in addition achieve positive effects on its balance sheet and results. The transaction is subject to the approval by the cartel authorities.
75.1% of Condor Flugdienst Gmbh belong to Thomas Cook Group plc and 24.9 % to Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The agreement about the mutual shareholdings between Air Berlin and Thomas Cook ist still subject toDeutsche Lufthansa AG not asserting a contractual preemption right. The acqusition of 75.1% of Condor by Air Berlin will be completed until February 10, 2009. For the remaining 24.9% Thomas Cook will exercise its call options and afterwards will assign the shares to Air Berlin.
As Manny Fontenla-Novoa, CEO of Thomas Cook´s stated: "The agreement aims at reducing risk and maximizing flexibility. This transaction will create significant value for the shareholders of Thomas Cook andsecure the long-term future for Condor. As the biggest shareholder ofAir Berlin, we are benefiting from Air Berlin´s extensive flight offer. Together, we have a significant potential for growth. Furthermore, Air Berlin will remain a long-term strategic partner forThomas Cook and provide us with flight capacities."
Joachim Hunold, Air Berlin´s CEO, explained in Düsseldorf on Thursday: "In light of the quickly progressing concentration process of European aviation, integrating Condor into the Air Berlin Group secures the future for both companies. Together, we will achieve international competitiveness. This step makes sense, especially follow-ing the takeover of LTU, since it will enable us to offer our clients a more tightly-meshed long-haul flight network."

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