British Airways-Iberia to own 90% of Vueling after many shareholders decided to accept the takeover offer
IAG, the company resulting from the merger of British Airways and Iberia, improved its initial offer from €7 per share to €9.25 to buy 100% of the Catalan airline’s shares. Iberia already owned 45.85% of Vueling and the IAG offer aimed to buy the remaining 54.15%. However, IAG had already stated the operation would still be carried out if it could buy 4.16% of Vueling’s share, in order to own 50.01% of the airline. Finally, more than four fifths of the remaining shareholders decided to sell their stocks to IAG. The international airline will buy 44.66% of Vueling’s shares and then it will own 90.51% of the company based in Barcelona El Prat Airport. Vueling is one of the few European airlines that has made a profit in the last few years. It has a competitive business model, flying to more than 200 destinations.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan airline Vueling will finally be bought out by IAG, the group resulting from the merger of British Airways and Iberia. A wide majority of Vueling shareholders decided to sell their stock to IAG, after the international group improved its original takeover offer. IAG already controlled 45.85% of Vueling, but it wanted full control of the airline based in Barcelona El Prat Airport. Its initial offer was rejected by the Catalan airline\u2019s Board and in March IAG improved it, increasing the offer from \u20AC7 per share to \u20AC9.25 for the remaining 54.15% of Vueling. IAG\u2019s aim was to buy 100% of the Catalan airline\u2019s shares. However, IAG had already stated the operation would still be carried out if it could buy 4.16% of Vueling\u2019s shares, in order to own 50.01% of the airline. Finally, 82.48% of the remaining shareholders decided to sell their stocks to IAG, as the Spanish Stock Market Regulation Authority (CNMV) reported on Tuesday. This means that the international airline will buy 44.66% of Vueling\u2019s shares. If these stocks are added to the 45.85% originally owned by Iberia, IAG will own 90.51% of the company based in Barcelona. Vueling\u2019s President, Josep Piqué, is satisfied with the operation. Vueling is one of the few European airlines that has made a profit in the last few years. In 2012, the Catalan airline had a \u20AC30 million profit. It has a competitive business model, evolving from a cost airline to a company offering the services of flagship airlines at lower prices. Vueling has operative bases in Spain but also in Western Europe such as in Paris Orly and Amsterdam. The Catalan company flies to more than 200 destinations, and is Barcelona El Prat Airport\u2019s leading company.
IAG launched its takeover offer in November on 100% of Vueling\u2019s shares, at a price that back then surpassed the stock exchange price at that moment by 28%. Initially, Vueling\u2019s Board reacted positively to the operation but it finally rejected it because it considered that \u20AC7 per share was \u201Cnot enough\u201D. However, Vueling\u2019s Board, which is chaired by the former Spanish Foreign Affairs and Industry Minister, Josep Piqué, accepted the improved offer, when IAG increased the price per share to \u20AC9.25.
IAG is performing the operation through its subsidiary company Veloz Holdco. However, IAG is in the middle of a restructuring process in order to cut off the economic losses of Iberia. The viability plan for Iberia includes a mass lay-off affecting 3,800 workers.
Piqué is satisfied with the operation
The President of the Catalan airline stated that \u201Cthe takeover process has concluded with the decision of a significant number of Vueling shareholders deciding to sell their stocks to IAG, following the recommendation of the company\u2019s Board issued on the 9th of April\u201D. According to Josep Piqué, the takeover price is \u201Cfair\u201D and allows \u201CVueling\u2019s full integration within the IAG structure, which offers important strategic opportunities for growth and future developments\u201D. In addition, Piqué added that he is convinced that Vueling will keep the dynamism, innovative spirit and the competitiveness\u201D that have characterised the Catalan company.