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Business

Lufthansa included in Swiss bid rumors

Speculation is rife in the airline industry that Germany's Lufthansa is eyeing a full takeover of Swiss International Air Lines at the same time as rival British Airways (BA) prepares to make an offer for a major stake. Lufthansa refused to comment on the speculation, while a BA spokesman told CNN that it was not looking to take a stake in the loss-making Swiss carrier, which took over the mantle of national airline after the collapse of Swissair in 2001. The Swiss carrier’s biggest shareholders -- the government, big banks UBS and Credit Suisse, and local companies -- have indicated they would not give Swiss Air Lines fresh cash, prompting rumors of possible takeovers by major airlines. "I wouldn't bet on Lufthansa taking a majority stake. Maybe in the future, but at the moment the risk is too big before Swiss has restructured. Maybe they would take a minority stake...The same would go for BA,'' said Zuercher Kantonalbank analyst Patrik Schwendimann.