A possible takeover of an Aegean Airlines-held controlling stake in Animawings (A2, Bucharest Henri Coanda) by Christian Tour Holding, parent entity of Bucharest-based tour operator Christian Tour, is being investigated by Romania’s Competition Council (Consiliul Concurenţei), the competition regulator revealed.

The council “is analysing the transaction through which Christian Tour Holding S.A. intends to take over Anima Wings Aviation S.A.,” it said of the planned acquisition of the 51% stake. “Christian Tour Group, also known in the market as Memento Group, is active mainly in the market of providing tourist services. Anima Wings is a company specialised in charter flights for tour operators in Romania.”

According to the provisions of Romania’s Competition Law, the authority must authorise the move “in order to establish compatibility with a normal competitive environment and will issue a decision within the terms provided by law.” It invited “any comments and points of view” on the subject within 20 days of the announcement, which was posted on December 4.

The proposed takeover comes two years after Aegean Airlines completed its acquisition of an additional 26% shareholding in Animawings from Memento, increasing its stake from 25% to 51% EUR1.3 million euros (USD1.47 million at the time, USD1.4 million now). The Romanian leisure specialist then named Anastasios Raftopoulos as its new chief executive along with a new board and management.

Financial details of the planned deal to return it to the tour operator have not been disclosed. The other 49% of Animawings is currently owned by MCP Holding BV, a vehicle controlled by Memento Group and its CEO Cristian Pandel, according to the Romanian corporate data site Termene.ro.

Animawings was incorporated in 2019, and Aegean acquired its 25% stake in 2020 ahead of the airline’s launch in July 2020. It currently operates two A320-200s, both sourced from Aegean, the ch-aviation fleets module shows, one of which is stored at Athens, the other in maintenance at Bucharest Henri Coanda. The carrier had a turnover of EUR26.6 million (USD27.7 million) and a loss of EUR4.4 million (USD4.75 million).

Memento Group is headquartered in Bucharest, includes 11 companies, and has operations in Romania, Serbia, Greece, Türkiye, Spain, Poland, and Moldova.