Lufthansa takes control of Brussels Airlines

German carrier Lufthansa will acquire full control of Brussels Airlines, the two companies said Monday after talks with SN Airholding of Belgium.

Lufthansa said in a joint statement it would initially take a 45 percent stake in SN Airholding for € 65 million ($96 million dollars) as part of a capital increase by the Belgian group.

The German airline will have an option to buy the outstanding shares from 2011 for a price of not more than € 250 million, the statement said.

Brussels Airlines is an offshoot of the bankrupt state-owned carrier Sabena and one of the few European airlines that does not belong to a major alliance. It is owned by around 40 shareholders, including the Virgin Group and several Belgian enterprises.