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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Air Berlin postpones market debut
Air Berlin plane
Air Berlin is competing in a tough market
German airline Air Berlin has announced it is postponing its planned stock market flotation, scheduled for Friday.

The budget carrier gave no reason for the decision, but said it now intended to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on 11 May.

Air Berlin had been expected to raise up to 870m euros ($1.1bn; 597m) from the share offering.

But analysts have suggested that demand for the stock at the current 15-17.5 euro price range had not been strong.

Stiff competition

"We see it as unattractive at that price," said Juergen Pieper of analysts Bankhaus Metzler. "We think their capacity expansion plans are too strong."

Later, the airline said it would lower the price range of its offering to 11.50 to 14.50 euros and would reduce the number of shares offered from 49.8m to 42.5m.

This means the amount raised by the float would now be 490m - 616m euros.

Air Berlin is facing stiff competition in its home market from rival European budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet.

Air Berlin's planned stock market flotation could be Germany's biggest so far this year, after chemicals firm Wacker Chemie.

The airline recently received a 130m euro injection from its owners, ahead of the flotation.

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