Shares in Norwegian Air, which has been the target of a potentially hostile takeover, took a dive on Friday after its suitor claimed it wasn’t interested in a forced marriage after all.
The airline, which has been subjected heavy turbulence in recent weeks, saw its shares fall around 10 percent Friday, when many Norwegians were otherwise taking a day off after Thursday’s 17th of May holiday that led into the long Pinse (Whitsund) holiday weekend.
The dive came after the chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent of British Airways that earlier claimed it was interested in taking over Norwegian, seemed to do some back-pedaling. Willie Walsh told news bureau Reuters that he didn’t feel any oblgation to move forward with a takeover. If Norwegian’s major owners (who include founder Bjørn Kjos) don’t want to be bought up by IAG, that’s fine with Walsh, who then added that he wasn’t interested in carrying out a hostile takeover.
That sent Norwegian’s stock into a tailspin. The share price dive may, of course, make it cheaper for Walsh and IAG to buy up even more of Norwegian’s stock. Kjos and his board leader Bjørn Kise have earlier resisted IAG’s overtures, claiming they had rejected two concrete offers from IAG.