Qatar Airways has announced that it now holds a 20.01 per cent stake in International Airlines Group (IAG) effective from 28 July. This follows a 12 July statement that it held, at that time, a 15.67 per cent shareholding in IAG, reiterating that it might consider increasing its stake further within the allowable limits. Non-EU shareholders of IAG including Qatar Airways are subject to an overall cap on non-EU ownership as a result of the requirement for EU airlines to be majority owned by EU shareholders.
Qatar Airways highlighted that its interest in IAG is”purely financial,” with the increased shareholding reflecting the strength of commercial and strategic ties between the companies and “evidences the continued support for the ongoing strategy of IAG.”
Commenting on the increased stake, group chief executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker said: “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. We continue to be highly supportive of IAG’s strategy and management team and we do not intend to increase our percentage shareholding further unless there are material changes to the current situation.”