TPG/BA could revisit Iberia bid

Philippe Costeletos, head of European operations at TPG Capital, has suggested the US-based private equity firm could revisit a bid for Spanish airline Iberia.

However, any action would not be taken until after Spain’s general election, Costeletos told Expansion.

TPG and partner British Airways withdrew a €3.4bn (US$5.1bn) bid for Iberia earlier this week after shareholder Caja Madrid built up its position to 23.4%, putting the potential suitors in a position of having to make a hostile bid for the airline.

However, Costeletos fuelled speculation that the withdrawal will enable the consortium to focus on a bid for Italian airline Alitalia, following reports yesterday that British Airways is in talks with Alitalia’s advisor Citi. “In our view, the sector is about to undergo a sharp turnaround in cycle, with rapid consolidation on the cards worldwide,” Costeletos told Expansion.