Looks Like Lufthansa Wants to Buy Norwegian, Too

Jun 18, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Norwegian Air is a hot commodity. After two rejected bids to acquire it from IAG, British Airways’ parent company, now Lufthansa is after the low-cost airline as well.

Norwegian has already rejected two bids from International Airlines Group earlier this year, and now Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr says his group is “in contact” with Norwegian about a possible acquisition.

“In Europe, everyone is talking to everyone,” Spohr, who leads the biggest airline group in Europe by passengers carried, told a German newspaper on Monday. “There’s a new wave of consolidation approaching. That means we are also in contact with Norwegian.”

In April, IAG — the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and others — announced that it had acquired a 4.61% stake in Norwegian Air, which prompted rumors of a possible complete takeover. But, Norwegian’s board said in May that it had unanimously rejected two bids from IAG.

A third bid from IAG of 1.52 billion euro (~$1.79 billion) to acquire Norwegian was rumored to be in the works near the end of May, but it is unclear if that ever materialized. IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh also said in May the company would not get into a bidding war for Norwegian.

Since IAG acquired its original 4.61% of Norwegian, the low-cost carrier’s CEO said the airline had been approached by several parties interested in an acquisition. “We are happy to have IAG as an investor,” Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said at the time. “Needless to say, they are not the only interested party that has approached us.”

Low-cost carriers across Europe have been struggling as higher fuel prices and labor difficulties put stress on their bottom lines, which is raising the possibility of merging with larger airlines. Norwegian is no exception to these financial struggles. The carrier reported a net loss of €30.8 million in 2017, compared to a €116 million profit in 2016, and it has been forced to lease aircraft from other operators due to ongoing issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines on its Boeing 787s.

Lufthansa’s Spohr told Reuters that as low-cost carriers face financial hardships, the airline group would grab acquisition opportunities as they arose. But so far, Lufthansa is playing its cards close to the vest — it is not exactly clear how interested the German-based aviation behemoth is in a deal for Norwegian.

“Takeovers are always a question of strategic value, the price and anti-trust,” Spohr told the German newspaper. “There are no easy answers.”

Featured image by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.