Iberia board takes note of Gala bid approach

23rd November 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 November 2007, Madrid - While the sharp falls in Iberia's share price yesterday suggested bets on an imminent takeover were now off, the management of Spain's biggest airline confined itself to taking "note" of another approach by a group of Spanish investors led by Gala Capital, and postponed deciding whether to open its books.

23 November 2007

Madrid - While the sharp falls in Iberia's share price yesterday suggested bets on an imminent takeover were now off, the management of Spain's biggest airline confined itself to taking "note" of another approach by a group of Spanish investors led by Gala Capital, and postponed deciding whether to open its books.

News this week that local savings bank Caja Madrid had agreed to buy domestic lender BBVA's stake of 6.99-percent and logistics group Logista's 6.42-percent interest in Iberia to become the airline's biggest shareholder with over 23 percent appears to have queered the pitch of investors who had piled into the stock on bid hopes. Caja Madrid has said it has no intention of selling out.

Iberia's stock closed down 4.96 percent at €3.26 after an intraday low of 3.16. That was well below a tentative offer of €3.60 per share by a group including British Airways and US private equity firm Texas Pacific. Gala, along with a number of local business grandees, has broached an offer of up to €3.90.

BA, Caja Madrid, Logista and BBVA form part of a syndicate in Iberia that gives the rest of its members the right to buy the holdings of any pact member exiting the airline's capital. Whether BA decides to acquire the proportion of BBVA and Logista's stakes it is entitled to will give some indication of where its bid now stands.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news


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