Sunday, 27 May 2012

IAG is Spanish-Forget BA being British and don't complain.

Forget BA Chairman Martin Broughton's pre-IAG cuddly assurances that despite the company's forthcoming absorbtion by its new owner BA would remain essentially British.  As far as ownership was concerned that was never going to be the case .

For any who believed otherwise,including former BA shareholders whose holdings came from a one-for-one swap from BA to IAG paper , the notice of IAG's first AGM to be held on 20th June sets the record straight once and for all.

It says "As IAG is a Spanish company the meeting is subject to Spanish legislation and will be held in Spanish in Madrid....There will also be a UK venue for ..(essentially UK) shareholders ...where the meeting can be followed by video link with simultaneous translation." A separate website confirms that attendees at the UK venue will not be able to either speak or vote there. They can only speak if they go to Madrid, although they can vote in advance by proxy if they wish.

That is clear then. BA is Spanish owned, pure and simple. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and nobody can complain about it. It's what BA's shareholders, who include many of its staff , had the opportunity to vote for and had the chance of rejecting. At the last BA AGM in 2010 there was barely a murmur about the merger, and certainly nothing hostile. The vast majority of floor time was taken up by cabin crew berating the management for trimming back some of the excesses of former terms and conditions. They obviously thought this was far more important. The unions similarly had nothing public to say. They can not therefore complain about the new ownership structure or nationality. When the opportunity was there, those few who didn't vote against the proposed demise of BA as a standalone British company were presumably either all for it or weren't interested.

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