BA and Iberia owner IAG makes Vueling takeover offer

Vueling plane The offer values Vueling at about 209m euros

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The owner of British Airways and Iberia, IAG, has made a takeover offer for Spanish budget airline Vueling.

IAG has offered 113m euros ($144m; £90m) for the 54% stake in Vueling that it does not already own.

IAG's Iberia already holds a 46% stake in Vueling, and if the bid is accepted it expects the deal to be completed in the second quarter of 2013.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said the acquisition would be "good for Spain" and "create new Spanish jobs".

IAG maintains the takeover - which values Vueling at about 209m euros - will not need regulatory approval by the European Commission.

For the nine months to 30 September, Vueling made pre-tax profits of 59m euros and had total assets of 805m euros, IAG said.

Iberia restructuring

On Wednesday, IAG released its latest passenger figures for October, which showed traffic up 3.2% from a year earlier with the load factor - a measure of how full planes are - up to 80.5%.

However, the increase was down to an improvement at British Airways, where traffic rose by 6.2%. At Iberia, traffic was down 3.7%.

IAG is due to release its third-quarter results on Friday, and reports suggest it will also announce restructuring plans for Iberia.

On Wednesday, the Reuters news agency - citing union sources - reported that up to 7,000 jobs could be cut at the Spanish carrier. IAG declined to comment on the report.

When IAG reported half-year results in August, operating losses at Iberia had widened to 263m euros for the six-month period.

IAG said at the time that Iberia's problems were "deep and structural" and that it would "not be able to avoid job losses" as part of the airline's restructuring.

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