British Airways parent IAG has confirmed that its bid for Austrian carrier Niki has not succeeded, following a change of insolvency proceedings for the Air Berlin operation.
Niki has been widely reported as having been sold to Laudamotion, a company controlled by former Formula 1 racing driver and aviation entrepreneur Niki Lauda. The reports cite the carrier's administrators.
IAG had agreed to acquire the assets of Niki for €20 million ($24 million) at the end of last year.
But the insolvency proceedings were re-opened in Austria in mid-January and led to a new sales process.
While IAG resubmitted its bid on 19 January, it says it has been advised that the bid "was unsuccessful".
IAG says it is "disappointed" that it will not be able to develop Niki and enable the carrier to "grow stronger" as part of the airline group.
It had intended to use a newly-created subsidiary of its Spanish budget operation Vueling to acquire Niki, and provide additional liquidity to the airline.