November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Iberia is remaining tight-lipped concerning any possible take-over following British Airways” (BA) decision to pull out of a potential bid.
The UK flag carrier, in tandem with the TPG Consortium has formally withdrawn its interest in Iberia, although it will retain its existing 9.9% share.
Speculation has swirled around any potential takeover of the Spanish airline as European consolidation is increasingly viewed as desirable, but the list of potential suitors ” including possibly Air France-KLM or Lufthansa remains unclear.
BA has not left the scene without a parting shot however. A tersely-worded statement reads: ”As a consequence of the recent decision by Iberia”s core shareholders, the consortium formed by British Airways, Ibersuizas, Quercus, TPG and Vista Capital, has come to the conclusion that it is not possible to pursue a potential takeover bid, since the consensus and friendly terms that we considered essential for this project are no longer in place.
”We have thus decided unanimously to withdraw our indication of interest for the company.”
Iberia”s ”core shareholders” that BA is referring to, apparently include Caja Madrid, BBVA, Logista and El Corte Ingles, who have an agreement triggering a first refusal option should one of them decide to sell.
BBVA and Logista”s decision to sell their holdings of 6.99% and 6.42% to Caja Madrid, now means that the Spanish bank has a 22% stake in Iberia.
”BA was part of the same shareholders agreement,” an Iberia spokeswoman told ABTN from Madrid, ”but is keeping its shares.
”A group of investors known as Galla Capital has [also] signed a letter to the airline asking for more information about the company.”
Both Air France-KLM and Lufthansa have previously expressed interest in Iberia, but the feeling remains that investors may like to keep the carrier in Spanish hands.