16 October, etc.venues Monument
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1st November 2023, etc.venues County Hall
British Airways (BA) has confirmed that it is mulling a bid for Spanish flag carrier, Iberia, as rumours persist as to the identity of any takeover consortium.
Potential suitors, including possibly Lufthansa and private equity company Texas Pacific Group, have been circling Iberia for some while, but now BA has declared its hand.
Takeover talk has seen Iberia”s shares soar this year and with the prospect of Open Skies in 2008, a raft of European mergers looks increasingly likely to join that of Lufthansa/Swiss and Air France/KLM.
BA already owns 10% of Iberia and says it is considering what to do with the stake, although the airline will not make any stand-alone bid. ”We have approached a number of private equity companies about making a consortium offer for Iberia,” said a BA spokesperson, adding: ”Any consortium bid would not involve further capital investment by British Airways.”
Interestingly, BA notes that as well as a private equity partner, the offer is likely to include one or more Spanish partners, although it doesn”t rule out full disposal.
A Lufthansa spokeswoman told ABTN: ”Yes, we are interested in a certain way as it would allow us to go for the Latin American routes, but the conditions are not right as the ”4bn price is too high.
”It could make sense as we want to actively participate in the consolidation market.”
Lufthansa currently offers limited South American services in conjunction with Swiss to Santiago, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo and any tie-up could see this dramatically increased.
The only fly in the ointment for Lufthansa, apart from the price, is that BA and Iberia are oneworld carriers, while the German airline is in the Star Alliance.