Turkey's Esas Holding, the largest shareholder in Air Berlin, is in talks on buying a stake in Hungarian national carrier Malév, business daily Napi Gazdaság reported.
Talks between Esas Holding and government representatives started in the last weeks of 2010, after China's HNA Group, which earlier expressed interest in Malév, moved to the sidelines to wait for an agreement on the repurchase of a stake in the airline held by Russia's state-owned Vnesheconombank. Malév was renationalized in March 2010, but Vnesheconombank still holds 5% of the airline's parent company.
Esas Holding owns 16.5% of Air Berlin. Esas Holding's owners, Turkey's Sabanci family, also own Turkey's biggest low-fare airline Pegasus. (MTI – Econews)