British Airways CEO, Willie Walsh, stated a merger agreement with Iberia may be completed by the end of this year (Independent.co.uk/The Financial Times, 30-Sep-09). Mr Walsh admitted talks has been given additional momentum following Iberia’s appointment of a new Chairman, Antonio Vazquez. Mr Walsh added the carrier is maintaining its desire for no less than a 53% stake in the merged company. The Iberia deal meanwhile would not preclude BA bidding for bmi.
British Airways: “I’m not prepared to say whether we will do the deal [with Iberia] or not. It must make sense for our shareholders and to get to an agreement we need to go through the detail. We have been making good progress since the change of leadership at Iberia. We have met them on three occasions and we are meeting them again in the next few weeks,” Willie Walsh, CEO. Source: Independent.co.uk, 30-Sep-09.