BA owner rethinks fundraising move20/07/2012 - 14:08:18
The owner of British Airways has aborted an innovative fundraising move that would have seen up to 31 of its Heathrow take-off and landing slots used as security.
International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), which owns BA and Spanish airline Iberia, said it had cancelled the launch of a bond designed to cover the costs of its recent BMI takeover.
IAG, which was issuing the bond through its BA subsidiary, said there was a lack of demand “at a price which would compare with other financing alternatives”.
This was despite a move by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s to up its credit rating on BA yesterday.
The bond launch was the first such move by a group outside of the US to use take off and landing slots as security.
BA’s Heathrow slots are particularly valuable, with the group controlling around half of the daily slots at the airport – the world’s busiest international airport.
But IAG shrugged off the lack of demand in its bond, saying it would look to raise money through other financial transactions.
A spokeswoman said BA and Iberia had been very “successful” in finding ways to raise cash in the past.
Shares in the group fell 2% today.
IAG, which was formed last year from the merger of BA and Iberia, completed its takeover of BMI in April.
It said it received a “significant price reduction” on its agreed £172.5m (€220m) purchase price, as it also took on the BMI Baby and BMI regional airlines, which were not part of its original deal.
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