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Aegean Airlines announces bid for rival

Offer for Olympic submitted

March 5, 2009

Aegean Airlines announces bid for rival

Aegean Airlines

Private Greek airline, Aegean Airlines, has submitted a surprise offer to purchase its floundering rival Olympic in a bid worth more than €170 million.

The bid is almost twice that offered by other Olympic suitor Marfin Investment Group (MIG).

"There is no space for two airlines (in Greece)," said Aegean Airlines chief executive Eftyhios Vassilakis. "To compete successfully in Europe and internationally, Greece needs one strong airline.

"The main reason behind our offer for Olympic has to do with ongoing consolidation in Europe, where everything is merging and consolidating and forming larger schemes. The current dynamics ultimately will leave fewer but larger schemes in the airline space."

Aegean, which has steadily eroded the market share held by Olympic, made the offer of €90 million for Olympic's flying operations and €20 million for its aircraft maintenance base. It also offered an additional €60 million to by Pantheon, a company set up by the government as a successor of debt-free Olympic Airlines.

Aegean Airlines is the flagship airline of Greece, operating a wide network of local and international flights, including regular services to and from London Stansted Airport.

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