BA bonds plan to cover cost of bmi acquisition

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The owner of British Airways yesterday set out plans to raise money from the bond market, using up to 31 of its lucrative Heathrow slots as security.

International Consolidated Airlines Group said BA was issuing bonds to raise money for costs relating to its bmi acquisition.

The airline completed its takeover of bmi from Germany's Lufthansa this spring, receiving a "significant price reduction" on its agreed £172.5m purchase price as it took on the BMI Baby brand too.

Yesterday BA said the bonds will be offered by one of its subsidiaries, British Airways Limited, whose assets include up to 31 daily slot pairs at Heathrow, and half of the joint venture route it runs between London City airport and New York JFK airport.

BA said it will wait for feedback from investors at a roadshow before announcing the timing and terms of the offer.

The carrier has announced a string of new routes since its bmi takeover, including relaunching services between Northern Ireland and Heathrow after an 11-year gap.

Some of its other new routes include London City Airport to Aberdeen, and Heathrow to Leeds Bradford, Seoul in South Korea and Zagreb in Croatia.