03/28/2008 02:44 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

British Airways Shares Rise On Takeover Speculation

Shares of British Airways Plc, Europe's third-largest airline, rose the most in almost a year on speculation the carrier may attract a private-equity bid.

Shares of the airline advanced as much as 23.5 pence, or 5.1 percent, to 484.5 pence, the greatest gain since June 15, 2006, and were up 4.6 percent at 2:19 p.m. in London. The stock has fallen 8.7 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 5.55 billion pounds ($11 billion).

British Airways may be a takeover target for private-equity groups because first- and business-class travel is strong and the U.K.'s air passenger duty is unlikely to hurt the carrier, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said May 17. Goldman, the world's largest securities firm, raised its stake to 5.1 percent last week from less than 3 percent.

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