Iberia Wants To Know If TPG Has Bid Partner

April 13, 2007

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Iberia said on Friday it required more information from suitor Texas Pacific Group regarding its EUR3.4 billion euro (USD$4.6 billion) bid for the airline, echoing comments it made on Thursday.

"With regards to the information given to Reuters yesterday... the board... needs more information and details about the proposal, in particular greater information about the structure of the approach with regards to a possible industry partner," the airline said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the airline said on Thursday it had not shown its books to private equity group TPG and would ask the private equity bidder to name its partners in the deal.

The airline wanted to know whether any Spanish companies were partnering TPG in its bid for the Spanish flag carrier, she said.

TPG has offered an indicative price of 3.60 euros a share for Iberia.

European rules limit US firms such as TPG from owning more than 49 percent of an EU airline. Under a new "open skies" pact between Washington and Brussels, the European Union would potentially have the power to cut that limit to 25 percent.

Lufthansa and British Airways -- which owns 10 percent of Iberia and has first refusal to buy another 32 percent -- have been named as possible rivals or partners for TPG.

(Reuters)