Aer Lingus and British Airways owner IAG iooks finally set to acquire Spanish carrier Air Europa in full.
The group – which already owns 20% of Air Europa – announced that it has reached agreement to acquire the 80% it currently doesn’t own for €400m.
The money will be paid through a €200m cash payment upon the deal’s regulatory approval and a further €200m in IAG shares and cash.
Air Europa – which has a 50-plane fleet comprising Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Boeing 737s – will keep its branding, but come under the management of Iberia, which is also owned by IAG.
In all, IAG owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and fellow Spanish carrier Vueling.
Air Europa’s strong presence in Latin America has been the main motivating factor behind IAG’s long-running takeover interest.
IAG took its 20% stake in Air Europa last year after converting into shares a €100m loan it had granted the airline.
A previous IAG attempt to buy Air Europa, for €1bn in pre-Covid 2019, failed to get past the regulators on competition concerns.
IAG’s latest move for Air Europa comes on the back of the airline group showing a first annual profit since the Covid crisis. IAG posted a €1.22bn profit for 2022 and said it expects a strong 2023, which could see earnings surge as much as 90%.