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German investor Woehrl expects to bid for Air Berlin next week
September 6, 2017 / 7:58 AM / 14 days ago

German investor Woehrl expects to bid for Air Berlin next week

German carrier Air Berlin aircrafts are pictured at Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German aviation investor Hans Rudolf Woehrl expects to submit an offer for insolvent Air Berlin (AB1.DE) early next week, jointly with several partners, he told German television.

“It will be a programme that goes into several hundred million (euros), to be paid in installments. But even the first installment that we’re willing to pay is very, very high,” he told TV station ARD on Wednesday.

Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection in August after shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding following years of losses.

Now the carrier is to be carved up, most likely among several buyers, with about 140 leased aircraft and valuable take-off and landing slots in Germany up for grabs.

Woehrl - who made his name when he bought German airline Deutsche BA from British Airways for a nominal 1 euro in 2003 - has proposed keeping Air Berlin intact as a charter airline rather than carving it up.

Last week he stepped back from the process to search for partners.

Leading German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), Britain’s easyJet (EZJ.L) and Thomas Cook’s (TCG.L) Condor are also expected to submit offers for parts of Air Berlin.

Bidders for the assets must submit offers by a Sept. 15 deadline, and a decision could come on Sept. 21.

Reporting by Myria Mildenberger; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mark Potter

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