Austria's Takeover Commission on Friday granted Deutsche Lufthansa AG's request to extend a deadline for its planned takeover of Austrian Airlines AG, paving the way for completion of the deal.
The process at the EU commission is far advanced and the approval of the deal is closer. The extension of the deadline until August 31 will prevent a failure of the offer and it favors the addressees' (shareholders), the Commission said.
Lufthansa had said on Tuesday it was seeking to extend a self-imposed July 31 deadline by a month as it scrambles to address EU antitrust concerns.
It had said it was nearing an agreement with the European Commission -- whose approval is required for the deal -- but would not be able to get formal approval by the end of the month.
At the end of last year, Lufthansa agreed to buy loss-making AUA, but said at the time that it wanted all of its conditions to be approved by the end of July, giving it an escape route if it the deal became too difficult or expensive.
The European Commission said earlier this week that Lufthansa had submitted new proposals intended to tackle regulators' antitrust concerns.
(Reporting by Christian Gutlederer and Mark Heinrich; Writing by Maria Sheahan)