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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chile regulator OKs TAM takeover with conditions, (NYSE: LFL)

Chile's antitrust tribunal gave conditional approval on Wednesday to LAN Airlines SA's LAN.SN(LFL.N) multibillion-dollar takeover of Brazilian carrier TAM SA (TAMM4.SA), paving the way for the creation of one of the world's biggest airlines. But anti-trust tribunal TDLC said the merged airline must comply with certain measures, including ceding slots on the key Santiago to Sao Paulo route and renouncing participation in one of two global alliances. Industry experts say the ruling would help create a blueprint for future mergers in Chile. However, they say the deal could face new delays in Chile if a third party appeals the decision to the Supreme Court. In Brazil, the deal has already cleared two of three antitrust hurdles and is now awaiting approval from antitrust council Cade. LAN Chief Operating Officer Ignacio Cueto said last month he believed the takeover could be complete by the end of the year.

Lan Airlines SA (LAN) is a Chile-based passenger airline and air cargo operator. Shares of LFL traded higher by 0.08% or $0.02/share to $26.25. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $21.19 and as high as $32.68. On average, 423563 shares of LFL exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 217591.