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Pensions regulators no barrier to Iberia mergers, says Walsh

Willie Walsh has said that British Airways does not need clearance from its pension regulator for its planned merger with Iberia.

“There is no cash involved - it is an all-share merger. We don’t see any issue with our trustees. This will lead to a stronger company,” Walsh told The Times newspaper.

Walsh said negotiations with Iberia were progressing well, with valuation, governance and the level of synergies the main outstanding issues.

While BA had proposed that it take a large majority stake in the merged company, its plunging share price could prove the main obstacle in a take-over as it may have to take a smaller majority share.

Trustees have in recent years played a decisive role in UK corporate takeovers, including preventing Philip Green’s planned purchase of Marks & Spencer five years ago.