[Coronavirus] German government “ready” to nationalise Condor if takeover by LOT deal fails

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On 1 April 2020, the German government is ready to nationalise Condor, ex-member of the Thomas Cook Group, if the deal with LOT and its parent company PGL fails, sources told Reuters.

More and more uncertainty on this German-Polish deal, which began a few months ago after LOT Polish Airlines agreed to buy Condor for about €300 million. The German airline was meanwhile still kept alive thanks to a rescue loan of €380 million granted by the German government after Thomas Cook Group collapse, in September 2019. Insolvent Condor actually has to repay that credit by April 15. Condor also requested an additional €200 million loan last week.

This uncertainty comes from the current COVID-19 outbreak, an unprecedented crisis in history. The Polish government ordered on 13 March to halt all commercial international flights until 11 April. Therefore, LOT, the Polish state-owned airline at 99.82%, decided to stop all operations until at least that date.

PGL has made the completion of its takeover bid subject to certain financial guarantees which the German government deems unacceptable, Reuters sources state, adding that no final decision on Condor’s near future had been taken.

“LOT has some issues with financing the deal”, another source said, adding that a government decision could come as early as this week.

Condor is still in talks, without any decision yet, and doesn’t want to comment on the matter. PGL and the German economy ministry don’t want either.

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