Aegean Airlines To Merge with Olympic Air

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s two largest carriers Aegean Airlines (AGNr.AT) and recently privatised Olympic Air have clinched an agreement to merge, officials close to the deal said on Monday.

“It is very likely that an announcement will be made later today or tomorrow on the merger of the two companies,” one official close to the negotiations told Reuters.

The official said the new company’s name will include the Olympic Air brand name.

The two carriers announced they were talking about a possible cooperation in a bourse filing on Feb. 11

Olympic Air was bought by buyout firm Marfin Investment Group (MIG) (MRFr.AT) from the Greek government in March last year. Aegean Airlines had also offered to buy Olympic.

The Olympic privatisation ended years of wrangling with the EU Commission over illegal state aid to the debt-laden flag carrier.

“Aegean Airlines’ market capitalisation stands at 285 million euros and MIG had acquired Olympic for 177.2 million euros. The new group might drop some destinations in favour of the competition in order to surpass any obstacles by the competition committee,” said Alpha Finance in a note.

By Lefteris Papadimas and George Georgiopoulos
(Editing by David Holmes)