The consolidation of Europe’s low-cost airline industry continues apace, with the news that Dublin-headquartered carrier Ryanair is buying Buzz, the no-frills unit of Dutch operator KLM.

Ryanair will pay €23.9 million ($25.8m; £15.7m) cash for its rival, though the acquisition of Buzz’s €19m cash reserves means the net cost of the deal is below €5m.

The deal came as a surprise to analysts, since KLM was last week said to be in talks to expand its budget carrier.

Said Ryanair ceo Michael O’Leary: “Whilst it has been our policy to avoid acquisitions, this opportunity, at this nominal cost, is the type of offer which we could not refuse. The financial cost is small and the diversion of management time will be minimal since Buzz is based at our main [London, Stansted] UK base.”

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff