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LOT withdraws from Condor takeover deal

Polish carrier LOT has pulled out of a deal to buy failed Thomas Cook’s former German airline Condor.

State-run Polish Aviation Group (PGL), which owns LOT, agreed in January to buy Condor for about €300 million, potentially creating a leading European aviation group with more than 20 million passengers a year.

But the company spokeswoman said: “I confirm that PGL informed Condor today about its withdrawal from the purchase of this company.”

Condor confirmed it had been informed that PGL was walking away.

It said there were various options about future ownership on the table and it was in talks about state aid as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

This raises the prospect of the German government nationalising the troubled carrier.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters two weeks ago that Germany was ready to take over Condor as it expected the deal with LOT to collapse due to the industry turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman for Germany’s economy ministry declined to comment.

The Polish government has extended the suspension of air service until April 26, grounding LOT flights.

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