IAG agrees preliminary deal to buy BMI

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British Airways and Iberia parent International Airlines Group (IAG) has reached a deal in principle with Lufthansa to buy British Midland.

In a short statement this morning IAG said the sale and closing of the deal remain subject to conditions including a binding purchase agreement, further due diligence and regulatory clearances.

"It is envisaged that the purchase agreement will be signed in the coming weeks and the aim is for the transaction to be completed in the first quarter of 2012," the airline added. No purchase price for the deal has been disclosed.