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    Turkey's Esas becomes Air Berlin's biggest shareholder

    Hurriyet Daily News
    29.04.2009 - 13:29 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - The Federal Germany Cartel Office has approved the transfer of shares that paves the way for Esas Holding to become Air Berlin’s biggest shareholder following the purchase of 15.3 percent of the airline, Esas said in a statement Wednesday.

    According to the approval of the transfers of share on April 27, Ali Sabanci, Pegasus Airlines chairman and member of the Esas Holding board, will represent the company on the board of Air Berlin.

     

    Having previously expressed interest in mergers and acquisitions on several occasions, Sabancı said: "Consolidation is already widespread in Europe and the rest of the world, as it should also now be in Turkey. Mergers are increasingly a way for airlines to reduce costs and expand their network on a global scale."

     

    "As Esas Holding, we have set our vision beyond Turkey and see value in investing in EU countries. We were encouraged by Germany’s significance within the EU, as well as Air Berlin’s strength and management team," he added in the statement.

     

    With this acquisition, Esas Holding becomes Air Berlin’s biggest shareholder, an airline boasting a 124-strong fleet as Europe’s fifth and Germany’s second largest airline.

     

    Pegasus Airlines, the largest privately owned airline in Turkey, owned by Esas Holding, is part of the Sabanci family’s group of companies.

     

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