IAG may take stake in combined U.S. airline

LONDON Sun Sep 2, 2012 7:44pm IST

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LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways and Iberia owner IAG (ICAG.L) (IAG) said it had signed a non-disclosure agreement with American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK) with a view to taking a stake in the U.S. carrier, which is itself in talks over a potential merger with US Airways Group.

"We have signed a non-disclosure agreement with American," an IAG spokeswoman told Reuters on Sunday. "We are interested in looking at taking a possible stake in a restructured American if they welcome it and if it will bring benefit to our shareholders."

American Airlines parent AMR Corp and US Airways Group on Friday said they had signed a non-disclosure agreement as they evaluate a potential merger that would create an airline that rivals leader United Continental Holdings Inc in scope.

IAG, which did not say what size of investment it would make in American, declined to say whether it would look to invest in a combined American-US Airways.

IAG, a member of the oneworld global alliance of which American is a part, has long been interested in investing in American Airlines, with with it has a revenue sharing deal on transatlantic routes.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones; Editing by David Cowell)