Thomson Travel Group, parent of UK charter carrier Britannia Airways, has rejected as "wholly inadequate" a proposed €2.2 billion ($2.1 billion) takeover by Germany's C&N Touristic, which is expected to raise its offer.

Thomson is advising its shareholders to reject the offer, saying it "sees no purpose in pursuing discussions with C&N on the basis proposed".

Responding to the rejection, C&N claims the market regards a tie-up as "a deal to be done, but only if we get the right price". It says it does not view Thomson as a "must-have" acquisition and is prepared to walk away if the UK company refuses to discuss a deal.

"We're willing to meet them to hear why £1.30 isn't enough, but we haven't had the opportunity," says C&N.

The company is widely expected to increase its offer, but claims it is keen to avoid a protracted battle. A deal would create Europe's largest tourism group, but would almost certainly attract the attention of the European Commission on competition grounds.

SAirGroup chief Philippe Bruggiser has, meanwhile, dismissed as "just rumours" industry speculation regarding a possible move for UK travel company First Choice, parent of the charter airline Air 2000.

SAir already has a stake in Germany's LTU.

Source: Flight International