British Airways Parent IAG Wins Vueling Backing for Takeover Bid

British Airways (IAG) parent IAG won backing for its bid for Vueling Airlines SA (VLG) from the Spanish discount carrier’s board after raising the offer by 32 percent.

Vueling’s directors recommend that investors accept a “reasonable” bid of 9.25 euros a share issued on March 27, the Barcelona-based company said today in a statement. The board had rejected an earlier approach valued at 7 euros a share.

IAG Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh is seeking control of profitable Vueling after the London-based group’s Spanish Iberia unit pushed it to a 23 million-euro ($30 million) loss in 2012. Vueling, in which IAG already owns a 45.85 percent stake, would remain a standalone unit within Europe’s No. 3 airline.

“Greater integration of Vueling into IAG should provide advantages and opportunities of interest for the company,” Vueling said in its stock market filing.

IAG, as London-based International Consolidated Airlines Group SA is known, is seeking a minimum 4.16 percent more stock to gain at least a 50.01 percent holding, down from the earlier 90 percent. The bid values Vueling at 277 million euros.

Vueling shares closed 1 cent higher at 9.26 euros in Madrid before today’s announcement, while IAG advanced 1.6 percent to 237.20 pence in London.

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net; Manuel Baigorri in Madrid at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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