International Airlines Group (IAG) has made a tender offer to acquire Spanish airline Vueling.
The cash offer of EUR113m (GBP90m), if confirmed, would see IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia, boost its presence in Barcelona and Europe with Vueling not to be changed in the takeover.
IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh has often remarked about expansion from a European airport to fuel its growth while UK south east airports remain restrictive. The offer is expected to be completed during spring 2013 and will now be put forward to shareholders. Spanish national carrier and IAG member Iberia currently owns a 45.85% stake in Vueling.
“With its leading position in Barcelona, European growth strategy and low cost base, Vueling has much to offer IAG. It has significantly increased capacity while remaining profitable, despite the Spanish economic slowdown, and already has extensive commercial arrangements with Iberia,” said Walsh.
The announcement comes after Vueling revealed its results for Q3 2012. The airline made an operating profit of EUR50.1m, up 22% and carried 22.7% more passengers. For the period from January to September, its net profit totalled EUR41.3m, an increase of 93%.