IAG takeover of part of Niki airline hits legal snag

A bid by International Airlines Group, the parent of British Airways and Iberia, to acquire much of bankrupt Air Berlin's Niki division has hit a legal stumbling block with an appeals court ruling.

The Berlin state court decided Monday that a Berlin administrative court did not have the jurisdiction to handle the insolvency of Austria-based Niki and that it's up to an Austrian court to decide.

The decision, which can be appealed to a federal court, comes after IAG said in December it would pay 20 million euros ($24 million) for Niki and inject another 16.5 million euros into the company. It plans to found a new Austria-based subsidiary of budget airline Vueling, taking on up to 15 Airbus A320 jets.

Germany's Lufthansa withdrew a bid for Niki in December.