Lufthansa boss denies bid for rivals Iberia

23rd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 August 2007, FRANKFURT, Germany - Airline Lufthansa AG is not considering any bids for rivals Iberia SA or Alitalia SpA, a member of the German company's board told reporters.

23 August 2007

FRANKFURT, Germany - Airline Lufthansa AG is not considering any bids for rivals Iberia SA or Alitalia SpA, a member of the German company's board told reporters.

Stefan Lauer also said that Lufthansa is on track to earn more than €1 billion (US$1.35 billion) in operating profit for 2007, reiterating previous claims by the Cologne-based airline, Germany's biggest.

"Our goal remains to clearly exceed €1 billion (US$1.35 billion)," he told reporters late Wednesday. "Our business is solid, we have financial strength and we don't have any liquidity problems."

Last year, the company earned €845 million in operating profit.

Lauer also said that Lufthansa is not currently mulling placing any bids for Spain's Iberia or Italy's Alitalia, either.

"We have always said that Iberia is interesting for us. But we have also always said that this company is overvalued," he said, adding that the situation was similar with regard to Alitalia, too.

On Wednesday, Alitalia said a group of investors interested in buying a stake in the struggling airline wanted to meet with the company.

The Italian government wants to shed its 49.9 percent stake but has handed responsibility for finding a buyer to Alitalia's management.

Iberia, meanwhile, is currently the object of a preliminary €3.41 (US$4.60) bid from private equity firm TPG, formerly known as the Texas Pacific Group.

Shares of Lufthansa were up nearly 1 percent to €20.79 (US$28.05) in Frankfurt trading.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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