FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German aviation investor Hans Rudolf Woehrl late on Sunday said a company controlled by his INTRO Group had submitted a 500 million euro (455.27 million pounds) offer to buy insolvent Air Berlin (AB1.DE).
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection in August, spurring interest from several buyers seeking to snap up about 140 leased aircraft and valuable take-off and landing slots in Germany.
Woehrl, who bought German airline Deutsche BA from British Airways for a nominal 1 euro in 2003, said Air Berlin’s insolvency administrator had been shown a letter of credit for 50 million euros, to guarantee an initial payment for his bid.
The full offer was for 500 million euros, INTRO Verwaltungs GmbH said.
“It is a bid for the whole of Air Berlin,” Woehrl’s INTRO-Verwaltungs GmbH said in a statement on Sunday, adding that it planned to pay a further 450 million euros in instalments.
Airlines Lufthansa, Condor, and Germania as well as travel firm TUI, and investor Niki Lauda had been informed about an opportunity to “participate” in the Woehrl bid, INTRO said in the statement.
In late August, Woehrl said he planned to bid together with partners, although Lufthansa had turned down his offer to team up as bidders.
INTRO said Airlines were now being invited to offer to charter Air Berlin’s aircraft.
“If there is no participation by other airlines, INTRO and its investors are in a position to turn around Air Berlin by themselves, they have repeatedly proven their ability to do this in the past,” INTRO said.
Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Sandra Maler