business

Bankia pockets €167m on sale of 12-percent stake in IAG

Holding group for Iberia, BA left without Spanish presence among core shareholders

Nationalized Spanish lender Bankia has made capital gains of 167 million euros after selling its 12.09-percent stake in International Airlines Group (IAG), the holding company created after the merger of airlines British Airways and Iberia. According to a statement the bank sent to the CNMV market watchdog, the operation was closed at a price of 3.01 euros per share, a 2.9-percent discount on IAG’s share price at the markets’ close the day before.

Bankia — which is the amalgam of seven savings banks led by Caja Madrid, and required a bailout of 22.424 billion euros of taxpayers’ money due to its over-exposure to Spain’s real estate market — undertook the sale of its stake in IAG in order to “take a further step” as part of its 2012-2015 Strategic Plan, which was presented last November by the BFA-Bankia Group.

Loss of influence

The plan involves, among other things, the disinvestment of non-strategic assets in a bid to raise cash.

The deal leaves IAG with no Spanish presence within its core shareholder group. As such, the Spanish government will lose the remaining influence it had over the former flag-carrying airline.

The deal also comes amid an ongoing process of internal restructuring and job losses at Iberia.

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