IAG share price: Qatar Airways hikes stake in British Airways parent

on May 18, 2016
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Qatar Airways has raised its stake in British Airways and Iberia parent International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG), the state-owned airline has disclosed. The Gulf carrier, which is the London-listed group’s biggest investor, argues that IAG, which also owns Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling, is ‘very well positioned in Europe’.

IAG’s share price has been little changed this morning, having lost 0.10 percent to 518.00p as of 08:29 BST, slightly outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is currently 0.27 percent worse off at 6,151.35 points. The group’s shares have lost just under 10 percent of their value over the past year, and are down more than 15 percent in the year-to-date.
Qatar Airways disclosed in a statement to the London Stock Exchange yesterday that it had increased its stake in IAG to 15.01 percent, having decided to “further deepen its relationship” with the London-listed carrier. The Gulf airline first acquired a 9.99-percent stake in the British Airways parent in January last year and has continued lifting its holding in the group.

“Qatar Airways believes IAG is very well positioned in Europe on the back notably of its attractive exposure to the Transatlantic segment, its leading positions at the London and Madrid hubs and the future benefits from the acquisition ‎of Aer Lingus,” the company said in the statement.
The Gulf carrier, however, is limited to owning less than 50 percent of IAG under EU rules which prevent non-European shareholders from controlling EU airlines. Qatar Airways noted that it “may consider increasing its stake further over time within the allowable limits”.
Industry observers told The Telegraph that Qatar Airways and IAG already appear to be forging closer ties, with the Gulf carrier part of the Oneworld Alliance, of which British Airways is a founding member. The UK airline further unveiled last week that it would start flying non-stop to Qatar’s capital Doha, which some aviation experts believe could signal the start of closer cooperation between the two companies.
As of 09:01 BST, Wednesday, 18 May, International Consolidated Airlines Grp share price is 518.00p.