Transport Airlines

Qatar looking to buy stake in British Airways parent

May 08, 2013 4:54 am

Skift Take

Bankia may well be desperate enough to sell its IAG stake, and Qatar’s probably the most ready and willing buyer if it happens. Thus continues the tectonic shifts in global aviation, as the Gulf states and the airlines that they have become the leading global players.

— Rafat Ali

Free Report: India Tourism Insights Report

The Latest Intelligence on the Travel Industry

Qatar has approached International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, with an informal offer to become the company’s largest shareholder by buying the 12 percent stake held by Spain’s nationalized lender Bankia, the Financial Times reported.

Qatar had approached IAG to ask whether the company would welcome it as a shareholder, the FT said citing two people familiar with the matter.

The financial daily cited one of those people as saying the initial approach was made last year, though it wasn’t clear which Qatari entity would buy the Bankia stake.

A third person familiar with the matter told the paper that IAG had informed Bankia of the interest from Qatar about three months ago.

“This is an issue for Bankia and we’re not going to comment further,” an IAG spokeswoman told Reuters.

Bankia could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters. It had declined to comment to the FT, saying it would seek the best possible price for its non-core assets.

Earlier this year, Bankia – the biggest failed bank in Spain’s history – hired Rothschild to help sell its stakes in companies including power group Iberdrola and insurer Mapfre, as the bank rebuilds its capital.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Richard Chang)

Tags: , ,

Next Up

More on Skift

Expedia and Orbitz Get Second Request For Documents from Justice Department
The Queen of England Signs Airbnb-Friendly Law for London Rentals
What Travel Brands Need to Know About Facebook’s New Updates
Will Rethinking Metasearch Increase Direct Bookings for Hotels?