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Qatar Airways increases its stake in the International Airlines Group

«القطرية» تزيد حصتها في المجموعة الدولية لشركات الطيران


Reuters / The Peninsula
Qatar Airways has increased their stake in British Airways-owner International Airlines Group (IAG) to 25.1% ahead of a change in IAG management.

In an endorsement of the Anglo-Spanish group just weeks before its founder Willie Walsh steps down, Qatar said on Wednesday the move showed its support for IAG and its strategy.

Qatar previously held 21.4% of IAG, which also owns Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling and Ireland’s Aer Lingus. IAG’s share price has risen by 52% in the last six months.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker stated, “Our investment to date has been highly successful and the announced increase in our shareholding is evidence of our continued support of IAG and its strategy.”

“Qatar Airways continues to consider opportunities to invest in airlines and support management teams that share our vision to enhance travel opportunities for airline passengers across the globe.”

Qatar increased its holding after IAG lifted restrictions on investments from outside the European Union last month.

IAG, which is registered in Madrid and headquartered in London, capped its equity held outside the EU at 47.5% a year ago to comply with EU ownership rules, a situation that could be further complicated by Britain’s departure from the EU.

It said in January non-EU ownership had fallen to 39.5%, so the cap was no longer required.

Qatar Airways has minority holdings in international carriers Cathay Pacific and China Southern and said earlier this month it was interested in doubling its holding in LATAM Airlines Group to 20% and was in talks to buy a 49% stake in Africa’s RwandAir.

IAG was created by a merger between the British and Spanish flag carriers in 2011, overseen by Walsh, who will step down next month.

Luis Gallego, who has led Iberia since 2014, will succeed Walsh, an appointment that analysts said signalled little change of direction for the group.

The cost of increasing its IAG holding is 465 million pounds, based on the closing price of IAG’s shares on Tuesday.

Qatar first invested in IAG in 2015, buying 9.99% of the company, and has steadily increased its holding since then.

أعلنت مجموعة الخطوط الجوية القطرية، عن زيادة حصتها في المجموعة الدولية لشركات الطيران «IAG» من 21.4 % إلى 25.1 %.

وقال سعادة السيد أكبر الباكر الرئيس التنفيذي لمجموعة الخطوط الجوية القطرية: «فيما كان النجاح حليفاً لاستثمارنا حتى اليوم، يأتي الإعلان عن تعزيز هذا الاستثمار دليلاً على دعمنا المتواصل للمجموعة الدولية لشركات الطيران ولاستراتيجيتها الناجحة».

وأضاف سعادة السيد الباكر: «تستمر الخطوط الجوية القطرية بالنظر في فرص الاستثمار في مختلف شركات الطيران العالمية، خصوصاً التي نتشارك مع فريق إدارتها الرؤية ذاتها التي تهدف إلى إتاحة مزيد من خيارات السفر أمام مزيد من المسافرين في مختلف أنحاء العالم».

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