British Airways and Iberia airlines in merger talks
LONDON - British Airways is holding talks with Spain's Iberia about a merger which would create a joint business, but leave their brands separate.
The airlines, which are partners in the Oneworld alliance, said they will take several months to agree on the terms of the proposed move, but expect it to be approved by regulators.
Airline mergers are logical in the face of the economic slowdown, according to Willie Walsh, the BA chief executive.
Walsh said: "The aviation landscape is changing and airline consolidation is long overdue. The combined balance sheet, anticipated synergies and network fit between the airlines make a merger an attractive proposition, particularly in the current economic environment."
Fernando Conte, chief executive of Iberia, said: "A merger would be good news for our customers and enhance our existing relationship. It would also strengthen the Oneworld alliance and further develop Madrid's position as the European gateway to Latin America."
Last year BA attempted to buy Iberia in partnership with private equity firm TPG, but it was repelled by the opposition from Spanish bank Caja Madrid, which is a large shareholder in Iberia.
BA owns 13.15% of Iberia, while Iberia said today it had acquired 2.99% of BA and has exposure to a further 6.99%. The Financial Times claims it has used a financial product called contracts for difference to achieve the latter.
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- Business Development Executive Bullfrog Digital LTD Up to £30k + Commission and benifits, Shoreditch
- Head of Strategy, Insight & External Relations London & Partners COMPETITIVE + PRP + BENEFITS, London Bridge
- Senior Account Manager Hot Cow Between £32,000 - £35,000 with discretionary bonuses., Near Chiswick Business Park, a fun and vibrant location to work with events, a lake and bars.
- Project Manager - Integrated / Digital - Superb London Agency Fill Recruitment Ltd £40k - £50k plus bonus and superb benefits!, Central London
- Retail Marketing Manager EMEA Callaway Golf Europe Ltd circa £50,000 pa plus benefits, based in Chessington, Surrey
- Account Director Direct Recruitment £45,000, Central London