F1 legend Niki Lauda buys back his own airline

Updated: Jan 24, 2018, 08:39 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

Austrian racing driving legend Niki Lauda yesterday won a dramatic race for Niki, the airline he founded in 2003 and then ceded to the now-defunct Air Berlin. In a comeback reminiscent of his 1970s and 1980s Formula One heyday

Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda

Austrian racing driving legend Niki Lauda yesterday won a dramatic race for Niki, the airline he founded in 2003 and then ceded to the now-defunct Air Berlin. In a comeback reminiscent of his 1970s and 1980s Formula One heyday, Niki's Austrian and German insolvency administrators said that the 68-year-old's third offer for the airline had been selected.

In doing so, Lauda, who still in bandages famously returned to racing in 1976 just 42 days after a horror crash that nearly killed him and permanently disfigured him, saw off rival offers for parts of Niki from IAG and Ryanair. In December IAG, owner of British Airways, was given the green light by German administrators to buy Niki and merge it with its budget unit Vueling for 20 million euros ($24.5 million) and 16.5 million euros in fresh liquidity. But that was declared null and void earlier this month after courts in Germany and Austria ruled that Niki's bankruptcy proceedings had to move to Austria from Germany, opening up the bidding process again.

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