Airlines’ shareholders OK $8.9b deal
LONDON — Shareholder approval for a $8.9 billion merger between
The two airlines revealed at concurrent shareholder meetings in London and Madrid that more than 99 percent of investors had voted in favor of the merger, which the pair hope will help counter falling demand from both business and leisure travelers in the wake of the global credit squeeze.
BA chairman Martin Broughton told the few shareholders who braved a cold snap and a strike on the London subway network to meet in Westminster that the deal had a “compelling, strategic and financial logic’’ and would benefit employees, passengers, and shareholders.
In Madrid, Iberia chairman Antonio Vazquez said it was a “historical agreement that will create a global group to lead a future consolidation process in the airline business.’’
But the Unite union attempted to throw a spanner in the works by saying after the meetings that it would be balloting thousands of cabin crew about whether to take further industrial action in a fractious and long-running dispute with the carrier’s management about changes to pay and working conditions.