BA pays pounds 240m for stake in Iberia

BRITISH AIRWAYS and American Airlines are to pay 58bn pesetas (pounds 240m) for a 9 per cent stake in Iberia, the Spainish flag carrier, Spain's Industry Minister Josep Pique said yesterday.

As part of the agreement to buy the stake from Spain's state holding company, Sepi, both sides have agreed to value Iberia at Pta580bn. New shares will be created for the deal with Sepi increasing Iberia's share capital by Pta78bn. The extra Pta20bn amounts to the remains of a Pta107bn bailout three years ago.

The sale is the first part of the Iberia's privatisation. Sepi plans to sell 30 per cent to Spanish industrial companies in the first quarter of next year. That will be followed by a public share sale of 50 per cent in May or June if market conditions permit.

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