Etihad denies airline stake bid
Frankfurt, December 7, 2011
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, dismissed a report that it would take a stake in Air Berlin, after a magazine reported Germany's second-biggest carrier would announce the deal this week.
"The entire report is inaccurate," a spokesman for Abu Dhabi-based Etihad said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday.
"We never comment on speculation of this nature, except to say that we talk regularly and frequently to many airlines and a range of other businesses from all over the world about issues and opportunities," he said.
Germany's Manager Magazin earlier cited industry sources as saying Etihad planned to take a minority stake in Air Berlin via a capital increase and a deal would be announced this week.
The magazine said Air Berlin's board would hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the matter.
"There will be a normal board meeting that has been planned for months, at which the company's results will be discussed," said an Air Berlin spokesman who declined further comment.
Shares in Air Berlin were down 4.1 per cent at 2.39 euros by 1554 GMT, having earlier jumped as much as 5.7 per cent.
"Now investors are afraid of a capital increase because nobody knows how big it could be," a trader in Germany said. – Reuters