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

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2009 file photo former Formula One champion and then head of the airline "Fly Niki" Niki Lauda speaks behind an airplane model during a news conference about expansion plans in Vienna. Austrian media reported Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 that the board of creditors allowed Niki Lauda to buy Austrian Niki airline which had become a daughter of insolvent German airline Air Berlin. (AP Photo/Lilli Strauss, file)

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

BERLIN — 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.

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