DFS buying NATS?
A few more details might be useful.
NATS is the only privatised national ansp in Europe and one of only a handful in the world. NATS is not majority owned by government.
Almost all other ANSP in the world are wholly government owned monopolies, including DFS, which is corporatised. This means its run as a company and as a business. It is nevertheless a legal monopoly and cannot go bust. It has no competition for most of its activity. For DFS to buy NATS or part of NATS is effectivley selling to the Government of Germany. Not to another company.
Now making shares available for sale for all European ANSP would be a really interesting proposition, a lot of governments are looking for cash right now! And that might do more for Single European Sky than the nonsense that is FAB.
NATS is already a private company, more efficient and much closer to the EU cost and capacity targets than DFS. the BMI Lufthansa analogy is bizarre but not inappropriate.
DFS is one of the less efficient ANSP in Europe, (I believe Belgium gets the wooden spoon but I might be wrong) DFS has one of the larger cost problems in the first period of the EU ANSP performance scheme, that starts in January, with perhaps 50m euros of new DFS cost saving to find next year, if latest traffic forecasts from IATA and the German government submissions to the EU performance sceme are a guide. Thats a big number for a 1bn euro turnover organisation.
DFS is also at the heart of FABEC probably the most difficult of all EU FAB marriages and almost certainly doomed to the scrapheap in its present form.
What is much more likley than a NATS purchase as a realistic target, is the DFS or FABEC takeover of MUAC in the latter part of 2012.
If you wanted a more interesting prospective investor in NATS you might look to Toulouse, Seattle or Ottowa for clues.
Meanwhile if you want to know more about DFS you could do worse than try page 63 of this ATM directory.
CANSO ATM Report & Directory
2012 is going to be a year of change for European ATC. But my radar tells me that this DFS rumour is just someones dream.