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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 06:49 GMT 07:49 UK
BA considers Iberia takeover move
Iberia planes
Interest is mounting in Spain's flagship carrier
British Airways has said it is considering making a takeover bid for the Spanish carrier Iberia.

BA said it had approached a number of private equity companies about forming a consortium to manage a bid.

But the UK airline, which already owns 10% of Iberia, ruled out making a lone bid for the Spanish firm.

Iberia said last month that the private equity firm Texas Pacific Group was targeting the airline with a 3.4bn euro (2.3bn; $4.5bn) takeover approach.

BA's announcement followed similar interest in Iberia from the German airline Lufthansa.

Iberia was "of strategic interest to Lufthansa in principle", a spokesman for Germany's biggest airline said.

Takeover rumours surrounding Iberia have seen the airline's shares soar by almost 80% in the last six months.

Analysts have said an "open skies" deal between the US and Europe is set to drive consolidation in the airline industry.

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