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Saudi investor to take stake in Austrian Airlines

Vienna, March 12, 2008

The supervisory board of Austrian Airlines agreed terms on Wednesday for Saudi-Austrian investor Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa al Jaber to take a 20 percent stake.

It said in a statement Sheikh Mohamed would take part in a capital increase at a price intended to be 7.10 euros per share and open to all investors.

It said members of an existing shareholder syndicate would not take part in the capital increase. The syndicate is headed by state holding company OeIAG with about 40 percent of the shares.

The OeIAG earlier this week agreed the plan and said Sheikh Mohamed's involvement would help the airline speed up plans to expand in the Middle East.

The airline earlier reported 2007 net profit of 3.3 million euros, up from a loss of 129.9 million in 2006 and better than analysts' average forecast of a loss of 12.7 million.

It said operating earnings were 25.6 million euros ($39.33 million), returning to profit also on this measure after a 2006 loss of 89 million.

Analysts in a Reuters poll expected on average earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 11.2 million euros.

Austrian media reports say Sheikh Mohamed acquired an Austrian passport last year. His MBC International owns the luxury Schwarzenberg Palace hotel in Vienna. - Reuters




Tags: Austrian Airlines | Sheikh Mohamed |

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