TAP Air Portugul has emerged as a reported takeover target for British Airways/Iberia parent company International Airlines Group.
The carrier is believed to head a list of 12 takeover targets drawn up by IAG chief executive Willie Walsh. The Portuguese government has been forced to privatise the flag carrier as a condition of the country’s £69 billion bailout by the European Union and European Monetary Fund.
“Informal talks” are said to have taken place between IAG and TAP and an investment bank has been hired to auction off the airline, with the process starting this summer, The Sunday Times reported.
Others expected to show an interest in the airline are said to include Lufthansa and LatAm, a new South American alliance between Tam of Brazil and Chile’s LAN. Finnair is also thought to be high on Walsh’s takeover targets due to its routes between Europe and Asia, where IAG wants to increase its presence.
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