Ryanair admits defeat in Aer Lingus bid

Ryanair has conceded defeat in its attempted take-over of Aer Lingus after the Irish government rejected its cash offer of €1.40 per share, which valued Aer Lingus at €748m.

The Irish carrier argues that the decision was wrong, as the cash offer exceeds the intrinsic value of Aer Lingus. It also says that the government’s decision means that Ryanair’s plan to double the size of Aer Lingus’ short-haul fleet and create 1,000 new Aer Lingus jobs cannot now proceed.Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary said: “We will respect and abide by the Government’s decision. We don’t think it is in the best interests of Aer Lingus, which will be isolated as a small, peripheral, loss making airline, reduced to announcing so called “partnerships” with other loss makers like United Airlines.

“It is strange, when the Irish Government is looking for €2bn in cost savings, that it would reject an offer of €188m for its 25% stake in Aer Lingus. It is also sad, when thousands of jobs are being lost in Ireland, that Ryanair’s offer to create 1,000 new Irish jobs in Aer Lingus over the next 5 years has been rejected.

“We would like to thank the Government and other Aer Lingus shareholders for the time and consideration they have given to our offer over the past 7 weeks.  Ryanair will now focus all of our energies on continuing to successfully grow and develop Ireland’s biggest airline and we will ensure that Ireland will still be home to one of Europe’s big four airline groups (Ryanair, Air France, BA and Lufthansa).”