IAG to make bid for TAP

 In Aviation, News, TAP

IAG, the umbrella company that owns British Airways, could make an offer to buy a controlling share in Portugal’s national carrier TAP.

IAG (International Airlines Group), which also has Spanish airline Iberia, has liquidity of €13Bn to splash for acquisitions.
The news was broken by The Times in its edition on Monday. Apart from TAP, IAG is also pondering an possible acquisition of easyJet.
IAG (which is one of the world’s biggest airline alliances (Oneworld) is not the only group interested. Air France-KLM (Sky Team) and Lufthansa (Star Alliance which TAP is part of) are also interested.
Prime Minister António Costa had already announced publicly his government’s intention to privatise TAP within one year.
Last month, Portugal’s minister for infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, said that the integration of TAP into a large aviation group “may be the only way to ensure the viability of a strategic company (TAP) for the country.”
“It was always clear to us [government] that, in such a strongly globalised and competitive market, TAP would not be able to survive, in the medium term, alone.
The integration of TAP into a group would create important synergies and bring resilience to face the volatility so characteristic of aviation. This may even be the only way to ensure the viability of a company that is strategic for the country,” said the minister, who has been involved in political negotiations and debates in the Portuguese parliament with the PSD (Social Democratic Party) on the privatisation of TAP.
Pedro Nuno Santos has said that the opening up TAP’s share capital to buyers would “be decided at the time and in the manner that best defends the national interest”.
“We can assure you that we will not repeat the sale conditions made by the right, finalised behind closed doors, two days after they knew their government was going to fall, in a deal that has still not been sufficiently well explained to the country”.
The airline registered a €91 million loss to September, although revenues reached €2.4Bn, 98% like-for-like on 2019 and a record €1.1Bn for the third quarter of 2022.