has today announced plans to buy its smaller rival Buzz from KLM for a for a total payment of å€23.9m (less than å£15m) which it will fund from its own substantial cash reserves without any recourse to the markets.
currently operates on 21 routes from Stansted, to Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands.
Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair commented: “The timing of this acquisition is opportunistic. Since Ryanair is growing strongly by rolling out our lowest fare services all over Europe, the last thing we need is the distraction of an acquisition. However there are a number of features of Buzz which makes this a favourable move at this time.
“I am confident that this significant and timely rationalisation will eliminate these losses in Buzz over the coming year. With a change of aircraft fleet Buzz will be in a position to match Ryanair’s low fare, profitable growth from 2004 onwards.”
The Buzz acquisition will not take place until 1 April at the earliest therefore current Buzz losses will have no impact on Ryanair’s full year earnings forecasts which will be.
is due to report Q.3 results on Tuesday morning (4 Feb’03) and will not be making any further comment on this matter until then.
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