U.S. News

Air France KLM Mulling a Tie-Up with Iberia


Air France KLM has said it is looking at the possibility of a tie-up with Spanish airline Iberia, which is already a takeover target.

In a statement released late on Monday, the world's biggest airline in terms of revenue, repeated it intended to play an active role in the consolidation of the airline industry.

"In Europe, Spain is a one of the major markets and Iberia an important player in air transport," Air France KLM said.

"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."

British Airways, which owns around 10% of Iberia, is in a consortium led by private equity company Texas Pacific Group that has made a provisional offer for Iberia.

TPG has provisionally offered 3.60 euros a share for Iberia, valuing the Spanish carrier at around 3.4 billion euros ($4.7 billion).

Earlier Spanish publication El Economista had said that Air France KLM could team up with private equity company Apax in a consortium that was ready to bid 3.8 billion euros for Iberia.

Iberia shares closed at 3.77 euros on Monday while Air France KLM shares closed at 34.37 euros, giving Air France KLM a stock market value of around 9.6 billion euros.