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Norwegian rejects two formal takeover bids from British Airways parent IAG

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A few weeks ago we reported that IAG, BA’s parent, had bought a 4.6% stake in Norwegian Air Shuttle with a view to launching a full takeover.

On Friday morning, Norwegian issued a statement to say that IAG had made two formal bids to take control of Norwegian.  Norwegian has rejected both of them “on the basis that they undervalued NAS and its prospects”.

This is, of course, a very similar situation to what happened with Aer Lingus.  Various initial bids were rejected until IAG made a series of concessions and guarantees that were attractive to the Irish Government.

Norwegian rejects two bids from IAG

It is a different game this time.  The 72-year CEO of Norwegian, Bjorn Kjos, has a 27% shareholding and it will be virtually impossible for IAG to acquire 50.1% without his consent.  This is why the Norwegian share price fell on Friday rather than rising, which is what you would expect to happen if the possibility of a juicy knock-out bid was expected.

IAG is not known for overpaying, and Kjos is clearly – at least in public – determined not to sell unless he achieves what others see as an unrealistic valuation.  IAG may have to settle for its existing 4.6% stake and wait to see if Norwegian hits serious financial trouble.

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Comments (80)

  • Optimus Prime says:

    OT – A relative and her partner are planning to move to Australia in January.

    I guess it’s too late to build up a miles pot from scratch and book 2 reward one-way tickets on any airline.

    On the other hand they’d like to know which airline they should choose to sign up with their loyalty program so they can get some miles to redeem for a domestic flight once they’re living in Oz.

    They could fly Singapore Airlines or Etihad and then redeem on Virgin Australia?

    • Peter K says:

      Or fly Qatar and get Avios to use on Qantas.

      • Jon says:

        If they’re starting from scratch then cash price and convenience is pretty much all that matters, surely? Only even think about points if these factors are very close to level. Whoever they fly with they will be able to use the points (or build more) when taking return flights to visit friends and relatives, which they surely will.

        Qatar does have some attractive deals, especially in Biz….

        • Optimus Prime says:

          Yeah agreed, cash price is all that matters.

          Do Qatar deals apply to one-way flights or just return ones?

      • Optimus Prime says:

        True and since they’re EU nationals they might be able to take advantage of ex-EU sales if they stop by to say bye to their families etc.

        Thanks!

    • Louie says:

      One way flights are usually very expensive. Also flights originating in Australia are usually way more expensive than flights originating in Europe. If your relatives are planning a trip back to Europe within a year of leaving, they might want to consider buying a return rather than a single.

      Unless they already have some miles I think they will struggle to get enough this time round. Not necessarily because they wouldn’t be able to earn enough but because they stand virtually no chance of getting miles flights in the first half of Jan (I struggled even booking nearly a year out) and I’d check the second half of Jan before going any further down that route.

      One way to go on points though would be to buy SPG points, currently at a 30% discount so US$682.50 for the max of 30k per person. SPG allow transfers between family members so if there were four of them at the same address, that would be $2,525 for 111k. With an extra 5k per 20k transferred to airlines, that would normally get you 136k airline miles, but AA are currently giving a 25% bonus, so that would be 170k AAdvantage miles for about £1,900. Which is enough for business class to anywhere in Australia, including internal business class flights on Qantas if they can’t get to their preferred international gateway (a far cry from Club Europe). Probably Cathay would be the best bet – I think charges would be about £250 each on top so maybe £1,200 per person one way. Qatar flights are hard to find. They’d need to pull their fingers out though as both the SPG and AA offers end on 31 May and the SPG accounts would need to be set up 14 days before buying points.

      Looking a bit longer term, you could you refer your relative for a Plat Amex now. She could then apply for a companion and a supplementary card. Then she could refer her partner and he could do the same. I haven’t checked the numbers but that’s something like 35 + 5 + 3 + 2 (for spending £2k) + 18 = 63k and + 35 + 5 + 3 + 2 = 45k MR points for £4k spend. Not enough for a one way business class trip, unless they can find some more friends to refer.

      Once in Australia though, they could use Amex’ Global Transfer process to get Aussie Amex cards if necessary (better not to though as better Amex bonuses are available if you apply through non-Amex websites). Sign up bonuses out here are much more generous too. For example there are (non-Platinum) Amex cards with a bonus of 50k MR points available and they come with travel credits equal to the fee.

      Then transfer the UK MR points to Australia. At say £1 = $1.80, that would be 113k and 81k Aussie MR points. 95k will get you one way between Perth and the UK on Singapore in business; 105k from the east coast – and no scamcharges like BA. And they could get SQ Silver before they left via Amex Plat/Shangri-La Jade. That gets you some priority on waitlisted flights.

      As to which airline to build up miles with, Qantas has a poor reputation for its scheme. Virgin Australia has a limited route network and doesn’t belong to an alliance, though of course it has a variety of partners. I’ve settled on Singapore mainly for international flights, but they have a relationship with Virgin which means you can transfer miles between the two, albeit losing 35% along the way. Internally I fly with whoever is cheapest usually. Etihad and Avios are both good for internal flights if you hit the sweet spots though, flying on Virgin and Qantas respectively.

      Hope that helps!

  • Ant says:

    OT: planning a trip to Malaysia and Singapore next Easter. Have enough points for a Marriott Travel Package. Any recommendation for a beach hotel/resort?

    • Tilly says:

      I tend to stay in Shangri-la resorts in Malaysia when at the beach and then with family when in towns/cities so probably not much use to you if you’re looking at Marriott. I have visited the JW Marriott in KL though for dinner/ lunch and it’s very nice.

  • Ali says:

    OT is there any way to make BAEC let you pay a different avios + cash amount on JAL redemptions?

    • Rob says:

      No, JAL blocks this feature for some reason. A couple of other partners do too.

  • Londonbus says:

    Topbonus: To give you an alternative – when BA closed bmi’s Diamond Club it had a windfall of £12m of diamond club miles which were unused.