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News Analysis: Etihad CFO on acquiring Air Berlin stake

19 December 2011

James Rigney talks about negotiating the deal which includes a $255 million loan to Air Berlin from Etihad's own balance sheet.

Read more: Etihad Air Berlin James Rigney

While Etihad's purchase of a 29.21% stake in Air Berlin is small in dollar terms (about $95 million), it is a game changer for Etihad.

The Abu Dhabi carrier has improved access to Europe through its purchase of a stake in the German carrier, and will increase pressure on European legacy carriers like Lufthansa, KLM, and IAG Group.

The deal involves a smaller airline buying up almost one third of larger carrier. Air Berlin had revenue last year of about $5 billion compared to Etihad's $4 billion during the same period.

In addition to injecting equity into Air Berlin, Etihad will also lend the airline $255 million over five years.

Speaking to Airfinance Journal by phone from Berlin, James...

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