The impending buyout of WOW Air by Icelandair Group is officially dead. This was confirmed by an announcement from Icelandair, Fréttablaðið reports.
As reported, the deal has been on shaky ground for some time now. The Iceland Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading on shares of Icelandair last Monday, by request of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FME). While trading resumed at 12:30 that morning, Icelandair Group issued a statement to the Icelandic Stock Exchange that they considered it unlikely that they will be able to fulfil all the terms and conditions of the WOW Air buyout before tomorrow’s investors meeting, when the purchase was to be voted on.
Icelandair Group announced the intent to buy out WOW Air earlier this month, but that purchase was still dependent upon approval from Icelandair shareholders and the Icelandic Competition Authority.
The involvement of the Icelandic Competition Authority is critical. Between the two airlines, their combined share of air traffic to and from Iceland is nearly 80%, with the buyout giving Icelandair Group control of the vast majority of flights to and from Iceland.
As neither airline was able to meet the conditions for the purchase, the deal was axed in a joint agreement between both airlines.
All that said, the future of WOW Air is still in the balance, and the airline is currently holding a meeting where their future is being discussed.