FL Group is interested in acquiring or investing in the low cost carrier Sterling and Maersk Air now owned by Fons. Fons also owns the airline Iceland Express.
According to the Icelandic Broadcasting Service, RÚV, the Icelandic Stock Exchange received an announcement last night that the boards of FL Group and Fons would shortly begin discussions regarding the possibility of FL Group purchasing Sterling and Maersk Air. According to Morgunbladid, FL Group representatives are already in Copenhagen to meet with Sterling and Maersk Air.
Earlier this year Fons purchased Sterling and Maersk Air and recently received approval of the Danish competition authorities to merge the two airlines.
“These discussions are just starting and it is not clear how they will conclude,” said Hannes Smárason, chairman of FL Group according to Fréttabladid. According to RÚV, Hannes said that FL Group was considering an acquistion or an investment. At the same time, FL Group was also looking into other investment opportunities.
According to RÚV, there have been persistent rumours of an impending collaboration between FL Group and Fons. RÚV and Fréttabladid further report that informal discussions have already taken place.
In a front page story this morning, Morgunbladid cites anonymous sources saying that the owners of Sterling have been exploring the possibility of starting trans-atlantic service to North America, and those plans had provoked interest from FL Group. Other anonymous sources quoted by Morgunbladid claim that FL Group is responding to plans of Iceland Express to substantially increase its service from Iceland to Northern Europe next year.
Morgunbladid further observes that FL Group’s subsidiary Icelandair has had a partnership with SAS for several years, which came about after a period during which the two airlines had competed with each other, and that Sterling and SAS are in intense competition.
Yesterday FL Group announced that Albert Jónsson has been appointed managing director for FL Investment, a subsidiary of FL GROUP. According to a released statement the purpose of FL Investment is “to maximize shareholder value with investments in companies and assets in Iceland and other countries.”
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