Colombian airline Avianca mulls Alitalia, LOT takeover -report
* Avianca's owner Efromovich says mulling Alitalia, LOT buy
* He may also decide to launch a new airline in Europe
* Efromovich wants to gain market share in Europe
WARSAW, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The owner of Colombian airline Avianca is considering taking over Italian airline Alitalia or Polish state-owned LOT to boost his presence in Europe, he was quoted as saying in a Polish newspaper on Tuesday.
Colombian-Brazilian airline entrepreneur German Efromovich told the Rzeczpospolita daily that another option for him was to build a new airline from scratch in Europe.
"We must take the decision regarding our future purchase no later than in the first two months of 2014," Efromovicz was quoted as saying.
"I must boost the presence of my airline in Europe, either through acquisitions or by starting a new company."
"I am certainly looking at Alitalia and Lot," he added.
Poland said last week it may consider privatising LOT together with other air industry businesses after it brings them all into a single holding company.
Efromovich, who was born in South America into a family of Polish Jews, acquired Polish citizenship in order to facilitate his bid for Portugal's airline TAP last year.
Portugal rejected Efromovich's bid in December 2012, saying it would postpone the long-awaited privatisation of its debt-laden airline.
Portugal said last week it would likely relaunch TAP's privatisation in the first quarter of 2014, but Efromovich said buying TAP was "not necessarily a priority" for him now. (Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Mark Potter)
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