Debate is now flying over whether Norwegian Air will in fact be subjected to a hostile takeover bid, and over what the share price offer may be. Not much has happened since International Airlines Group (IAG) put Norwegian’s stock in play last month.
The Oslo-based airline’s share price has doubled after IAG announced it had bought up 4.6 percent of the company’s stock and was evaluating a bid to take the airline over. Norwegian released disappointing first-quarter operating results last week but also noted that other players had expressed interest in the airline.
Estimates of what it might take to wrest control away from airline founder and chief executive Bjørn Kjos range from NOK 300-400 per share, according to newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). An acquisition by IAG, which owns British Airways and several other carriers, “has industrial logic,” write analysts at HSBC, but they warn it can be difficult to have a clear opinion on an agreed share price.
DN reported that Oslo-based Carnegie thinks a bid of between NOK 350-400 is likely in the short term, while DNB Markets in Oslo has maintained its “sell” recommendation and thinks a successful bid from IAG can be distant. The airline’s shares were trading at NOK 300.70 on Thursday afternoon, down 0.92 percent.