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

FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2017 file photo former Austrian Formula One driver Niki Lauda stands in the Mercedes pit during the first free practice at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Austrian media reported Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 that the board of creditors allowed Niki Lauda to buy Austrian Niki airline which is a daughter of insolvent German airline Air Berlin. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine, 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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