Qatar Airways ups stake in Aer Lingus owner IAG to 20%

Globally expanding Gulf carrier takes advantage of post-Brexit drop in IAG stock price

The move was Qatar’s third  stake purchase abroad in the past month, following agreements to buy 10 per cent of Latam Airlines Group SA and  49 per cent Meridiana Fly SpA. Photograph: AP Photo/Airbus/HO

The move was Qatar’s third stake purchase abroad in the past month, following agreements to buy 10 per cent of Latam Airlines Group SA and 49 per cent Meridiana Fly SpA. Photograph: AP Photo/Airbus/HO

 

Qatar Airways raised its stake in Aer Lingus and British Airways owner IAG to 20 per cent, taking advantage of a drop in the company’s stock price since the Brexit vote last month.

Qatar Airways, which increased the holding from 15.7 per cent as of July 28th, does not plan to add to the stake, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The move was the Persian Gulf carrier’s third announcement of a stake purchase abroad in the past month as it pursues a global expansion programme, following agreements to buy 10 per cent of Latam Airlines Group SA, South America’s biggest carrier, and 49 per cent Meridiana Fly SpA, Italy’s second-largest airline.

“The recent market valuation of one of the world’s leading airline groups has provided what we believe is an attractive opportunity to increase our shareholding in IAG,” Qatar Airways’ chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said in the statement.

Shares of IAG, which also owns Spanish airline Iberia, have dropped 23 per cent since the UK referendum on June 23rd to exit the European Union. The company cut its earnings target for 2016 last week, citing the vote approving a pullout from the bloc. – Bloomberg

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