Intro agrees deal to buy Air France-KLM unit CityJet

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German airline investor group Intro Aviation has made a firm offer to acquire Air France-KLM unit CityJet and its Belgian subsidiary VLM.

Intro Aviation has been involved in on-off talks for CityJet since first confirming its interest in the regional operator in April. While that process appeared to have stalled in September, last month Intro confirmed it was holding talks with CityJet's union over its takeover plans.

"This offer provides for ongoing commercial co-operation with Air France as part of a new industrial plan," Intro Aviation says in a statement confirming the offer released by its advisers on the deal, Barons Financial Services. "Employee representative bodies of the various entities will be informed and consulted. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014."

Turnaround specialist Intro Aviation, founded by German businessman Hans Rudolf Wöhrl, has acquired and subsequently sold a number of airlines, including German charter carrier LTU and former British Airways subsidiary Deutsche BA.

Irish carrier CityJet generated revenues of $271 million on 1.5 million passengers in 2012. The carrier has been a wholly owned Air France airline since 2000 and acquired Belgian regional unit VLM in 2008. Air France-KLM announced in February it had put CityJet up for sale after a revamp of the group's regional operations.