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Hedge fund Marshall Wace takes stake in British Airways-owner IAG

·1-min read
British Airways aircraft are seen at Heathrow Airport in west London
British Airways aircraft are seen at Heathrow Airport in west London

(Reuters) - Marshall Wace has picked up a 3% stake in British Airways-owner IAG <ICAG.L>, a Spanish regulatory filing from the hedge fund showed on Wednesday.

IAG last month raised 2.7 billion euros ($3.2 billion) to reduce debt and ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hammered the global aviation industry as air travel has grounded to a halt.

The hedge fund's bet on IAG is a sign that the fund "believes there is value in UK stocks", the Financial Times earlier reported, citing a person familiar with its thinking.

London-listed IAG's shares, which have lost more than three quarters of their value this year, closed about 1% higher at 98.26 pence on Wednesday.

The disclosure of the stake, as at Oct. 8, also comes days after the Anglo-Spanish airline group promoted Aer Lingus boss Sean Doyle to lead British Airways.

London-based Marshall Wace was founded in 1997, with U.S.-based private-equity firm KKR & Co <KKR.N> owning a near 40% stake in the company as of Nov. 2019, according to the hedge fund's website.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)