30 APRIL 2018
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British Airways owner IAG was caught up in an unintended business tangle last week after Norwegian Air said other unnamed companies had expressed interest in it following IAG’s purchase of a minority share with a possible view to a takeover (BTN 16 April).
Norwegian founder and chief executive Bjørn Kjos broke the news during a presentation on his airline’s latest financial results. He told Reuters: “What I can say is that these are very serious players and that the board is handling it."
He went on: “When I say serious players, the most obvious thing to think of is airlines. “But there could also be others, as we’ve had multiple players showing interest.”
Shares in Norwegian rose steeply on Thursday after the airline said its board had established a steering committee and engaged advisers “to review the situation, handle relevant enquiries and safeguard the interests of all shareholders”.
The announcement came as the carrier reported it had cut is first-quarter losses sharply from NOK1.5bn (£134m) in 2017 to NOK46.2m (£4.19m) in 2018.
Kjos said he would prefer not to sell his stake until the company’s intercontinental business had demonstrated its potential, but added he was unlikely to block a sale if the board were to “strongly recommend” a bid.
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