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Qatar Boosts Stake in British Airways Parent Company

Qatar is raising its holdings in International Airlines Group to an ownership stake of nearly 20 percent.

Seizing on a massive drop in stock prices in the wake of the controversial Brexit vote, Qatar Airways is increasing its ownership stake in International Airlines Group (IAG) from just under 16 percent to a 20 percent interest in the company. The June vote in favor of the UK leaving the European Union helped IAG stock to drop by nearly a quarter of its pre-Brexit value. Subsidiaries of London Heathrow (LHR)-based IAG include British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker told Bloomberg that the time was right to increase its investment in the European airline conglomerate. “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,” he explained. The CEO said that he is satisfied with 20 percent control and does not expect Qatar to seek a larger stake in IAG in the future.

Qatar Airways is already IAG’s single largest shareholder. The state-owned Gulf carrier will more than double the initial 9.9 percent ownership stake in IAG that was purchased just last year. Qatar has slowly grown that investment in the months that followed. The Gulf airline is using its cash reserves to spread its influence in other directions as well. Bloomberg reports that Qatar plans to make an investment that will result in a nearly 10 percent ownership stake in South American aviation giant Latam Airlines Group and could seek to purchase as much a 49 percent interest in Italy’s second largest airline Meridiana.

[Photo: Qatar Airways]

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Sydneyberlin August 4, 2016

From what I can tell, bar that little Italian airline they are very much targeting fellow Oneworld carriers. Which in my eyes is much better than the mess Etihad is doing.

sdsearch August 3, 2016

djjaguar64, are you not aware that Qatar, most of the IAG Group Airlines, and LATAM are aleady in One World? So Qatar's holdings are almost all in One World, except for that Italian airline. And British Airways is a founding member of One World, so why would it leave One World for a new alliance???

djjaguar64 August 3, 2016

I foresee this, Star Alliance, One World, Skyteam and ME3 Alliance.