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Who will grab the chance to pick up a 25% stake in LOT?

The receiver of bankrupt airline SAirGroup, which was taken over by German Lufthansa, holds 25% of shares in the national carrier LOT.

This might translate into major ownership changes in Polish airlines. "Lufthansa is executing a strategy of taking over national carriers in neighboring countries. I would not be surprised if the firm had the same plans with regards to LOT," said Rutger Schimmelpenninck, receiver of SAirGroup. This scenario would be beneficial for the receiver, who would have an opportunity to collect some funds necessary to repay creditors. "The proposal must be made by Lufthansa," stressed Schimmelpenninck.

However, the German carrier is not very proactive in its activities. "We intend to develop our cooperation with LOT as part of Star Alliance. This, and not the capital relations, will help offer clients of both companies the most attractive solutions," said Gudrun Gorner from Lufthansa. According to some, the German airline needs to first conclude its take over of Swiss and only afterwards it will consider any further projects.

(WBJ 25.iii.05)

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