British Airways’ parent International Airlines Group (IAG) has a potential rival in bidding for TAP Portugal, with Brazilian carrier TAM considering a takeover of the Portuguese carrier.
News agency Reuters reports TAM is in discussions with the Brazilian government about finance for a potential acquisition, following a Sunday Times report at the weekend that IAG has begun informal talks on a possible buyout.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh revealed last year he had identified 12 possible takeover targets to follow the merger of BA and Spanish carrier Iberia. Portugal’s government is set to sell TAP as a condition of its euro78 billion (£69 billion) bail-out by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
TAP is a member of the Lufthansa-led Star Alliance, as is TAM, while BA is a leading member of the rival alliance Oneworld. However, TAM is awaiting regulatory approval for a merger with Latin America’s other major carrier, LAN – a Oneworld member.
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