German airline investor group Intro Aviation is among the bidders interested in acquiring Air France's Dublin-based regional subsidiary CityJet, it has emerged.
The Irish Times reported earlier this week that Intro and Dublin-based aircraft leasing specialist ASL Aviation Group have been selected as the final two bidders, following Air France's shortlisting of six investor candidates in February.
But while Intro confirmed its ongoing bid for CityJet, ASL Aviation declined to comment on the deal.
Hans Rudolf Wöhrl, Intro Group's managing director, says that its bid has been submitted without any third-party investors in the background. This is in order to avoid drawing attention to potential financial partners before they can be presented with reliable offers, he says.
Wöhrl adds that Intro's strength lies in making acquisition offers independently, without third-party financial backing that might otherwise influence the bidding process.
The Nuremberg-based group has acquired and subsequently sold a number of airlines, including German charter carrier LTU and former British Airways subsidiary Deutsche BA.
In early 2012, Intro Group became the majority shareholder of Bregenz-headquartered regional carrier InterSky.
Even if the CityJet takeover does not materialise, Wöhrl says that Intro will be sufficiently occupied with InterSky and "other projects".