Air France-KLM eyes Iberia Airlines

Transport

Air France-KLM SA is looking at Iberia Airlines of Spain SA as a possible merger target, the French airline said.

The announcement means Air France-KLM might challenge British Airways PLC and US private-equity firm TPG Capital LP, which have made a preliminary $4.69 billion offer for the Spanish airline. “In Europe, Spain is one of the major markets and Iberia an important player in air transport,” Air France-KLM said in a statement. “Taken in the perspective of much-needed consolidation for the efficiency and profitability of the air transport sector, it is therefore quite normal for it to be examined among others,” Air France-KLM`s statement continued. Iberia Airlines had no immediate comment.

The Air France-KLM announcement followed reports in The Financial Times and Spanish business paper El Economista the Franco-Dutch airline was in talks about joining a consortium led by the Apax Partners private-equity firm to launch a bid for Iberia. The consortium, including Spanish publisher Jose Manuel Lara and billionaire investor Juan Abello, would be willing to offer $5.3 billion, or $5.51 a share, for the Spanish carrier, the newspapers said. (monstersandcritics.com)

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