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Exclusive: Germany ready to nationalize airline Condor – sources

FILE PHOTO: A banner reding “Condor we love flying” is seen next to a check-in counter of airline Condor at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

BERLIN/MUNICH (Reuters) – The German government stands ready to take over airline Condor after an agreement by Polish carrier LOT to acquire the carrier is likely to collapse, several people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

LOT owner PGL has made a takeover deal contingent on certain financial guarantees that the German government considers unacceptable, the sources said, adding that no final decision on the carrier’s immediate future had been taken.

Nationalizing Condor would only be for a limited time as Germany aims to restart a sales process as soon as the stranglehold on the travel industry from the coronavirus pandemic has eased, the sources said.

Condor is a former unit of Thomas Cook, the holiday company that folded in September. A 380 million euro ($415 million) state bridge loan allowed the carrier to be rescued.

Condor said it was in talks with all parties involved and that no decision had been made yet, declining to comment further.

PGL and the German economy ministry declined to comment.

Reporting by Klaus Lauer, Alexander Huebner, Holger Hansen, Arno Schuetze, Christian Kraemer und Anna Koper; Writing by Ludwig Burger

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