Reports coming out of the Spanish press today suggest British Airways might be ready to accept a 55% stake in its planned merger with Oneworld partner Iberia, as the two carriers close in on finalising a deal this month.
Both BA boss Willie Walsh and his counterpart at Iberia Fernando Conte spoke last month of growing momentum in the talks, which had stalled over issues including the Spanish carrier seeking more information relating to BA’s final salary-based pensions schemes. The talks have since been focusing on other issues, including what the split in ownership between BA and Iberia in the new company would be. The proposed deal is an all-share merger and has been complicated by the weakening of Sterling and BA’s share price, which has significantly reduced the stock market value of BA in relation to Iberia since the merger plans were first announced last summer.
Now a report in Spain’s El Economista today, citing sources close to the talks, suggests BA is ready to settle for a 55% equity stake in a merged carrier. BA itself says only talks continue, but its shares were up more than 6% today off the back of the reports