Virgin Express-SN Brussels merger approved

Virgin Express-SN Brussels merger approved

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2004 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

Belgian regulators have approved the merger of discount airline Virgin Express with full-fare carrier SN Brussels Airlines, the new company SN Airholding said on Monday (27 December).

The decision would enable SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express to start more concrete talks on putting the plan into action, said SN Airholding in a statement.

Virgin Express Holdings, 88.6% owned by Branson’s Virgin Sky Investments, will hold a 29.9% stake in the holding company while private investors in SN Brussels, the successor to bankrupt Belgian carrier Sabena, will own the rest of the combined group. SN Brussels said in October it expected the consolidation of the airlines to bring EUR44m (USD59.9m) in savings. Consolidated earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of the two companies are expected to increase by EUR25m to EUR35m (USD34m – USD47.6m), reported Reuters.

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