International Airlines Group yesterday raised the value of its bid for Spanish budget carrier Vueling by 32%.
The British Airways and Iberia holding company said it would settle for majority control after Vueling rejected an earlier approach.
IAG lifted the offer price from €7 per share to €9.25 per share as it seeks a minimum 4.16% more shares to gain at least a 50.01% holding, down from the earlier 90%.
IAG’s proposal values the whole of Barcelona-based Vueling at €277 million and came hours after the company announced the exit of Iberia chief executive Rafael Sanchez-Lozano and his replacement by the boss of low cost arm Iberia Express.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh has made the takeover of Vueling central to an overhaul plan of its Spanish operations after Iberia pushed the group to a €23 million loss last year.
Vueling would remain a standalone unit within Europe’s third-largest airline group.
“The higher price and lower level of minimum acceptances suggest a high likelihood of completion,” James Hollins, an analyst at Investec, told the Bloomberg news service.
“With expected synergies driving a projected earnings enhancement, we would take the deal positively if completed.”
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