easyJet (LON:EZJ) is set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval to buy parts of insolvent German carrier Air Berlin, Reuters has reported. The deal is expected to make the British budget airline the leading carrier in the German capital.
easyJet’s share price has fallen deep into the red in London in today’s session, having given up 1.05 percent to 1,415.00p as of 10:13 GMT, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.14 percent higher at 7,348.99 points. The airline’s shares have added more than 45 percent to their value this year, as compared with about a nine-percent rise in the Footsie.
Brussels to okay Air Berlin deal
Sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters yesterday that the European Commission is set to approve easyJet’s purchase of some of insolvent Air Berlin’s assets. Brussels is scheduled to decide on the deal by December 12.
easyJet will take on some of Air Berlin’s operations at Tegel airport in the German capital for around €40 million, as well as leases for up to 25 A320 aircraft, and about 1,000 of the German carrier’s pilots and cabin crew.
The FTSE 100 carrier had previously signalled that if it gets approval it expects to start operations from Tegel in January, at first leasing crewed planes while the Air Berlin crews and planes enter its fleet.
Analysts on easyJet
Morgan Stanley, which sees easyJet as an ‘equal weight,’ boosted its price target on the shares from 1,230p to 1,490p yesterday. According to MarketBeat, the low-cost carrier currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,344.84p.
easyJet updated investors on its annual performance last month, revealing a drop in profit and a rise in revenues.