Lufthansa is set to sell the rest of its catering service to Aurelius

(Bloomberg) – Deutsche Lufthansa AG is in talks to sell the remaining part of its airline catering unit to German private equity firm Aurelius, according to people familiar with the matter.

Germany’s flagship airline group and Aurelius could announce a deal for the LSG Sky Chefs business in the coming weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified while discussing confidential information.

Lufthansa has been trying to sell its catering business for years as short-haul flights – on which people often skip meals – overtake longer routes and low-cost carriers gain market share. In 2019, he sold LSG’s European operations to Switzerland-based Gategroup for an undisclosed sum.

Any proceeds from the sale of the rest of the business would help Lufthansa reduce the debt hangover from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has ground most of its fleet and led to record losses.

While the talks are advanced, they could still be delayed or fail, the people said. Representatives for Aurelius and Lufthansa declined to comment.

Lufthansa shares were trading up 1.2% at 4:29 p.m. in Frankfurt. Aurelius shares fell 1.6%.

The coronavirus crisis has made it more difficult for Lufthansa to pursue the sale of the rest of LSG. Aside from the pandemic, low-cost competitors have made food an optional extra to reduce base fares, leading to more passengers bringing their own snacks when travelling.

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