niki lauda

Photo courtesy Niki Airlines

Report: Ex-Formula 1 star Niki Lauda buys back airline he founded

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BERLIN (AP) Ex-Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda is buying back bankrupt Austrian airline Niki, which he founded 15 years ago before selling his stake in 2011.

The Austria Press Agency reported Tuesday that the 68-year-old’s company Laudamotion beat rivals including British-Spanish consortium IAG in the bid to rescue Niki. It didn’t give financial details of his offer.

The budget airline fell victim last year to the financial woes of its parent company Air Berlin, other assets of which have since been bought by Lufthansa and EasyJet.

Lufthansa dropped its bid to buy Niki after the European Commission raised competition concerns.

Lauda has not disclosed what plans he has for the airline going forward.