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Easyjet recruits adviser to head off Icelandair parent take-over


UK budget carrier EasyJet has appointed investment bank Goldman Sachs as its new financial adviser, a move seen as a positioning strategy in the event of a possible bid from Icelandair parent FL Group.

The company confirms it has recruited Goldman Sachs, but will also continue to work with former adviser Credit Suisse First Boston.

“EasyJet confirms that it has appointed Goldman Sachs as adviser to the company,” the airline says in a short statement. “EasyJet will continue to work with Credit Suisse to take advantage of its industry experience and expertise, including continuing to act as broker to the company.”

The airline has not detailed the reasons for the change, but there are widespread suggestions that it marks an attempt to bolster its defences against a possible bid from FL Group.

EasyJet has been the subject of repeated speculation over a possible takeover bid from FL Group as the Icelandic firm has steadily built up its stake in the UK carrier to 16.2%, making it the second-largest shareholder in the airline.

FL Group has just completed the acquisition of Denmark’s Sterling Airlines and on 5 January raised its stake in Finnair to 6.1%.

GRAHAM DUNN / LONDON

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