British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) has lost out on the acquisition of Austrian airline Niki after former Formula One champion Niki Lauda made the winning takeover bid for the insolvent carrier. IAG had previously agreed with Niki’s German administrator to buy the business for €20 million, provide €16.5 million in liquidity and make it part of its Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling.
IAG’s share price has jumped higher in London in today’s session, having added 2.34 percent to 665.40p as of 09:35 GMT. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.17 percent higher at 7,728.78 points.
IAG loses out on Niki deal
IAG announced in a statement this morning it had been advised today that its bid for Niki, announced on December 29, 2017, had been unsuccessful. While the British Airways parent had previously agreed to buy the assets under the German insolvency process, insolvency proceedings opened in Austria earlier this year, initiating a new sales process.
“IAG is disappointed that NIKI will not be able to develop and grow stronger as part of the group,” the company said in the statement.
Reuters meanwhile reported that former Formula One champion Niki Lauda had made the winning bid for the airline he founded.
“In the early hours of this morning Laudamotion GmbH emerged from a transparent bidding process as the best bidder,” the newswire quoted Niki’s Austrian and German administrators, Ulla Reisch and Lucas Floether, as saying in a brief joint statement, referring to a company controlled by Lauda.
Analysts on British Airways parent
Deutsche Bank reiterated its ‘buy’ stance on IAG last week, valuing the shares at 730p. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 company currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 607.76p.