Owner of WOW Air brand intends to take bite of Icelandair stake

The owner of the WOW Air brand, US entrepreneur Michelle Ballarin, intends to purchase a 25% stake in Icelandair. The entrepreneur has signed up for $51.2 million (ISK 7 billion) in Icelandair shares. The move fuelled speculation that two airlines might be merged in the future.

On September 16, 2020, Icelandair placed a new share offering consisting of 23 billion shares. Investors were offered two subscription options which differed in terms of size and allocation, Icelandair Group announced in a statement.

According to the group, the offering was oversubscribed by 85% with strong demand from both institutional and retail investors.

Local media reported that Ballarin, the chairman of USAerospace Associate, became one of investors with strong intention to hold a 25% share in Icelandair after the purchase.

Already there are some speculations that Ballarin potentially hopes to hold one fourth of Icelandair‘s share offering in order to merge WOW Air and Islandair in the future.

Ballarin became the owner of WOW Air brand straight after the airline‘s bankruptcy in 2018 after buying assets from the airline‘s bankruptcy estate. The American entrepreneur planned to revive the bankrupt airline and start flying the low-cost carrier again in October 2019.


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