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IAG confirms €113m bid for Vueling

International Airlines Group today confirmed a €113 million bid to acquire Spanish budget airline Vueling.

The British Airways and Iberia parent has created a Spanish holding company as the vehicle seeking to buy the 55% of the Barcelona-based carrier not owned by Iberia.

The reported total assets of Vueling are €805 million and in the nine months to September 30 it generated pre-tax profits of €59 million.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “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. We would plan to retain the current Vueling management team.”

He added: “This would be good news for Vueling as there are many advantages for the airline in this deal.

“It will benefit from the financial strength of a larger airline group, making it better able to compete with other airlines and invest in new customer products and services.

“The airline will also be able to generate some cost and revenue synergies as part of IAG mainly through joint financing and procurement.”

Vueling would be managed as a separate operating company with its chief executive reporting directly to Walsh.

“This acquisition would be positive for Spain. We would retain Vueling’s Barcelona base and create new Spanish jobs,” he said.

IAG said the offer was not subject to regulatory approval by the European Commission.

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