Global law firm White & Case LLP has achieved a significant success for Aegean Airlines before the European Commission, which has cleared the Greek carrier’s proposed acquisition of its rival Olympic Air.
This is the second time the two companies have tried to merge, following Olympic/Aegean I, when the Commission prohibited the transaction.
A subsequent in-depth investigation (Phase II) by the Commission concluded that, if not acquired by Aegean, Olympic Air would cease operating in the near future due to financial difficulties. The Commission decided, therefore, that the merger would cause no harm to competition and should be cleared.
"We're very pleased to have supported Aegean this time round in securing clearance for its acquisition of Olympic," said Mark Powell, who co-led the White & Case team. "While the decision should be viewed in light of the current economic context in Greece, it nonetheless represents a first for EU merger control."
Dr Assimakis Komninos, who co-led the advice from Brussels, said: "The decision is very welcome news for the Greek airline sector and for Greek passengers as it will permit badly needed consolidation that will allow Aegean to compete more aggressively on the European stage. From a White & Case perspective, it’s an achievement which illustrates the Firm’s experience in dealing with challenging merger cases as well as our expertise in the airline industry."
The White & Case team in the Brussels office was led by Mark Powell and Dr Assimakis Komninos, who were assisted by Strati Sakellariou, Jan Jeram and Roberta Rosso.
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