British Airways Pushes Buyout Cos. To Bid On Iberia

May 14, 2007

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British Airways is trying to push two buyout firms to join together in a common bid for Spanish carrier Iberia, which it would back, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Rival buyout firms Apax partners and Texas Pacific Group are both trying to bid for Iberia and each is trying to woo British Airways, which has a stake in Iberia, into their respective bidding groups.

The UK carrier is, however, trying to convince Texas Pacific to allow Apax to join its bid grouping. This would boost the UK carrier's chances of backing a successful bid, the sources added.

However, other options also remain open to the British carrier, they added, without giving additional detail.

British Airways and Texas Pacific declined to comment.

(Reuters)