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Ryanair CEO says won't make offer for Air Berlin assets

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Ryanair CEO says won't make offer for Air Berlin assets

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair <RYA.I> will not make an offer for assets of insolvent German airline Air Berlin <AB1.DE>, its Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday, citing what he said was an intransparent carve-up process. Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection this month after shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding following years of losses. O’Leary has complained that the insolvency process was designed to help strengthen German flagship carrier Lufthansa <LHAG.DE>. “If there was a fair and open process we would get involved but we are not getting involved in this process because it’s a stitch-up,” he told a news conference on Wednesday. He said Ryanair had asked German and European anti-trust authorities to investigate what he said was a “conspiracy” between Air Berlin, Lufthansa and the German government. “We believe (the insolvency) was triggered to put maximum pressure on politicians ahead of federal elections in September,” he said.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley and Klaus Lauer; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)
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