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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Potential Iberia bidders stack up
Iberia planes
Private equity houses are lining up to express interest in Iberia
More private equity groups have joined the ranks of potential bidders for the Spanish flag carrier, Iberia.

The Madrid-based fund Vista Capital says it has teamed up with Texas Pacific Group (TPG) to mount a bid.

Vista and TPG are reported to be in talks with British Airways, which already owns 10% of Iberia and is looking for a partner to make a bid.

The Spanish private equity group Ibersuivas also says it is considering joining Vista and TPG to make a bid.

TPG needs a Spanish partner to allow Iberia to retain its foreign landing rights on its Latin American routes.

Among other potential bidders is the private equity house Apax Partners, which is rumoured to be considering either joining TPG's consortium or making a joint bid with Spain's Gestair, which leases aircraft to Iberia.

TPG made an indicative offer worth 3.4bn euros ($4.6bn; 2.3bn) for Iberia on 30 March, but the airline has not opened its books so no final decision has been taken on whether to make a formal offer.

German flag carrier Lufthansa also says it might bid, saying that Iberia is "of strategic interest to Lufthansa in principle".

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