IAG floats possible Norwegian takeover

Norwegian Air Shuttle

British Airways owner IAG is considering to buy low-priced carrier Norwegian Air for some 3 billion dollars plus debts, reports Bloomberg, citing sources with insight into the matter. IAG now owns 4,6 percent of Norwegian, a stake it may have bought in order to initiate discussions, the sources said.

The owner of British Airways is eyeing a takeover of its budget rival Norwegian amid a mounting price war on key long-haul routes.

It says: "IAG considers Norwegian to be an attractive investment and has acquired a 4.61 per cent ownership position in Norwegian (minority investment)".

IAG already has Spanish budget carrier Vueling as part of its airline portfolio as well as Spanish budget long-haul operator Level.

Shares in Norwegian Air jumped 37% on the news.

In a statement, the Oslo, Norway, based company said it had "no prior knowledge of this acquisition", adding it had "not been in any discussions or dialogue with IAG about the matter". Since launching its first long-haul services in 2013, the airline has become a major player in the transatlantic aviation business, offering low-priced fares to the US. The airline did not immediately comment on the IAG plans. "Norwegian believes that interest from one of the largest worldwide aviation groups demonstrates the sustainability and potential of our business model and global growth".

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