Qatar Airways take 9.9% stake in IAG
24 / 02 / 2015
Qatar Airways has acquired a 9.99 per cent stake in International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia.
The Middle East carrier’s share swoop is valued at around £1.1bn ($1.7bn), and builds a closer relationship with a fellow member of the oneworld airline alliance.
An IAG statement said: "Both IAG and Qatar Airways have a close relationship already as part of the oneworld alliance and IAG welcomes Qatar Airways’ statement that it would look to strengthen existing commercial ties."
Commenting on the share acquisition, Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: "We’re delighted to have Qatar Airways, one of the world’s premier airlines, as a long term supportive shareholder. We will talk to them about what opportunities exist to work more closely together and further IAG’s ambitions as the leading global airline group".
Non-European Union shareholders of IAG, including Qatar Airways, are subject to an overall cap on non-EU ownership as a result of the requirement for European airlines to be majority owned by EU shareholders.
"Qatar Airways may consider increasing its stake further over time although this is not currently intended to exceed 9.99%," the Middle East airline said.
“IAG represents an excellent opportunity to further develop our Westwards strategy. Having joined the oneworld alliance it makes sense for us to work more closely together in the near term and we look forward to forging a long-term relationship,” said Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways.