Spanish airline Iberia said on Friday it had received a 3.4 billion euro ($4.5 billion) bid approach from private equity firm Texas Pacific Group.
The cash approach, at an indicated price of 3.6 euros per share, was below Iberia's closing price on Thursday of 4 euros. The Spanish flag carrier's share price has been blown higher in the past few days on bid speculation.
Earlier this week, people familiar with the matter told Reuters was considering making an offer to buy the Madrid-based airline.
In a statement, Iberia said the private equity group had asked for permission to view its books, and the board would meet in the next few days to consider the approach.
Iberia said TPG would study the books for up to 30 days and could make a bid in the 10 days following that period.
"This approach does not constitute in any way an offer for all or part of Iberia's capital, nor does it create any legal obligation or binding agreement for TPG," Iberia said.
Iberia hired investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to advise it on a possible sale, people familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.