Air France-KLM mulls acquisition of Air Europa



According to the Spanish press, Air France is interested in purchasing Air Europa after the failure of negotiations between Globalia and HNA. The discussions between the Chinese group and the Spanish company were initiated  more than 9 months ago and are in fact stalled for legal reasons.

The French-Dutch group asked JP Morgan, but also Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to study the Air Europa purchase documentation, in the wake of the cooling of relations between Juan Jose Hidalgo, head of Globalia, and the Chinese group HNA, entangled in an unfavorable European regulation with regard to foreign investors. The Spanish Government reminded Juan Jose Hidalgo that the EU requires that airlines remain the property of shareholders in Member States. In no case a complete takeover is possible for HNA, already present and for the same reason at no ore than 49% in the French airline Aigle Azur.

For Air France, Air Europa would be a good deal against Lufthansa and its affiliated companies. With more than 1.6 billion euros in turnover, Air Europa – founded in 1986 and member of Skyteam – would bring to the French-Dutch group its know-how of a company widely present in South America where it competes with Iberia, now part of the British Airways group.

In addition, Air Europa would provide a new hub to the AF / KLM group which would allow it to expand its offering to South America.