Aer Lingus rejects Ryanair bid

Aer Lingus has rejected the hostile 750m euro (£671.9m; $1bn) takeover bid from Ryanair. Michael O’Leary’s low-cost carrier, which already owns almost 30 per cent of Aer Lingus, said other investors should vote in favour of a creation of a united Irish airline by 5 January, however Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington dismissed the offer, saying that it contained “nothing new”. Michael O’Leary believes that if no other bidder emerges, the offer had a “strong” prospect of success. Ryanair offered 1.40 euros a share for the former state airline this month, just half the price of a previous offer in 2006 which was blocked by the EU on competition grounds.

Staff at Aer Lingus support the airline remaining independent despite the takeover bid by rival Ryanair, Chief Executive Dermot Mannion said on Sunday.

Aer Lingus’s board has rejected Ryanair’s all-cash bid, saying it significantly undervalues the airline.

O’Leary is to appear before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport next week to give details of its takeover bid for Aer Lingus.

Michael O’Leary will outline to the Committee how he intends to keep the airline competitive if the merger is successful and the potential impact it will have on regional airlines and airports.