British Airways has confirmed that it has joined a transatlantic consortium of companies bidding for Spanish carrier Iberia.
Private equity firm Texas Pacific Group (TPG) is leading a consortium including Vista Capital, Inversiones Ibersuizas and Quercus Equity that has already offered €3.4 billion (£2.3 billion) for Iberia.
But BA insisted today that "there is no guarantee that a formal bid will be made".
"The airline has previously ruled out further capital investment as part of any consortium offer and will not make an independent bid for the airline," the company added.
BA already owns a ten per cent stake in Iberia, Europe's fourth-largest airline, and has an option for a further 27 per cent.
Along with BA, TPG is the only non-Spanish company in the consortium, with media reports on the continent suggesting that any takeover would be weighted towards Vista Capital, Inversiones Ibersuizas and Quercus Equity.
German airline Lufthansa has also indicated that it would consider a bid for Iberia, with the firm's South American routes attracting interest across Europe.