Lufthansa Technik breaks off SR Technics talks

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German maintenance provider Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has suspended exploratory talks regarding a possible acquisition of Swissair Group counterpart SR Technics, claiming that the Swiss side is refusing to disclose essential information about the company.

LHT admits that it has been interested in SR Technics since the firm came onto the market as a result of Swissair’s collapse. The two firms already jointly own Ireland’s Shannon Aerospace.

The German company says that its primary interest in SR Technics centres on its customer base, but adds that the Swiss legal team handling Swissair Group’s affairs is not prepared to hand over details.

“There are only two real reasons for taking over a company,” says a spokesman for LHT. “You either want to increase your capabilities or you want to extend your customer base.”

LHT argues that it can already match all of SR Technics’ maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities.

“We have asked to see the [customer] data for the company but [the Swiss lawyers] won’t let us have it,” the spokesman says, adding that the reasons behind the refusal are unclear.

But he says that the obstruction makes it impossible for LHT to evaluate the Swiss firm and adds: “The talks are not going on at this time.”

LHT speaking at LHT’s annual press conference in Hamburg today, LHT chairman August Henningsen said: “Of course we are interested [in SR Technics]. We participated in the due diligence process. The result of that was that we were not able, on the basis presented, to deliver a binding offer.”

Other companies known to be interested include Singapore Technologies Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and General Electric. The overhauler recently won a long-term deal to maintain the fleet of Switzerland’s new carrier Swiss.