Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Icelandair scraps plan to buy rival Wow Air - Icelandair said on Thursday that it had scrapped its all-share deal to buy Wow Air that had aimed to create a stronger international competitor.

"The planned acquisition of Icelandair Group of Wow Air will not go through," Bogi Nils Bogason, interim president and chief executive of Icelandair Group, said in a statement.

Icelandair had announced on Nov. 5 that it had agreed to buy its Icelandic rival and had said conditions for the merger would need to be met by Friday, when its board was expected to recommend the merger to shareholders.

Icelandair, which did not give details about the conditions, said it had canceled the plan because those terms were unlikely to be met by Friday's deadline.

Skúli Mogensen, the CEO of Wow Air, which has been reducing the size of its fleet, said: "It was clear at the outset that it was an ambitious task to complete all the conditions of the share purchase agreement in this short period."

Both Icelandic airlines use Iceland's Keflavik Airport as their main hub between Europe and North America.

Wow Air had expanded to St. Louis, among other U.S. markets, but said recently it plans to discontinue operations in St. Louis. In May, a Wow Air flight was the first trans-Atlantic flight to St. Louis in about 15 years.

U.S. average mortgage rates steady - U.S. long-term mortgage rates barely budged this week after marking the biggest drop in nearly four years a week earlier.

Home borrowing rates remain much higher than they were a year ago. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage held steady at 4.81 percent this week. That compares with 3.90 percent a year ago.

The rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans edged up to 4.25 percent from 4.24 percent the previous week. …

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