Potential BA, Iberia merger back on course

BRITISH Airways’ (BA) and Iberia’s long-running on-and-off merger talks have spluttered into life once again. The two airlines are holding separate board meetings to discuss how and whether a merger should be pursued.Iberia is confidently proclaiming that the deal will give it 45 per cent and BA 55 per cent of the merged company. However, BA seems to be more cautious saying only that the meetings are to consider a “potential transaction” between the two and that nothing is definite. Any more information would be made “in due course, if appropriate”.If a proposed merger did go ahead it would still need final approval from the European Commission, but analysts believe that this will be given.BA already owns 13.5 per cent of Iberia, and both are members of oneworld allowing them to code share. Both have made heavy losses this year: BA £292 million (US$483 million) in the two quarters ending September and Iberia E72.8 million ($109 million) in the first financial quarter this year.

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