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09 May 2018

BY James Chapple

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TRFBLI

Norwegian boss fuels prospect of sale 'at right price'

Days after batting away two separate takeover bids from British Airways owner IAG, Norwegian boss Bjorn Kjos has further fuelled suggestions the budget carrier could yet be sold.

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Norwegian boss fuels sale prospect 'at right price'

IAG last month acquired a 4.61% stake in Norwegian as a precursor to talks over a full buyout of the Oslo-based airline.


Norwegian later confirmed it had fielded “several inquiries” following IAG’s interest, establishing a steering group and appointing a legal team to handle any bids.


However, the Norwegian board said on Friday (May 4) it had “unanimously rejected” two formal bids for a full takeover by IAG, stating the terms “undervalued Norwegian and its prospects”.


Speaking at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday (May 8), Norwegian chief executive Kjos nonetheless told reporters “at the right price, anything is for sale”, Reuters reports.


He reportedly added IAG’s bids were too low to be recommended to shareholders.


Of the bids by IAG, Norwegian said in a statement: "The board of Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) confirms it has received two separate conditional proposals from IAG Group in relation to an acquisition of 100 percent of the share capital of NAS.


"These proposals were reviewed in conjunction with NAS’ financial and legal advisers, and were unanimously rejected on the basis that they undervalued NAS and its prospects.


"The board of NAS remains fully committed to delivering on its stated strategy, for the benefit of all NAS shareholders."


IAG said: "IAG confirms it has had contact with the Norwegian board regarding a possible offer, without reaching an agreement. IAG is currently considering its options in relation to Norwegian."

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