The European low cost airline Ryanair on Tuesday offered 694 million euros ($883 million) to buy the Irish carrier Aer Lingus, the latest in a number of deals in the fast-consolidating airline industry.
The European Union's general court barred no-frills airline Ryanair from taking over Aer Lingus on Tuesday but said Ryanair could keep a minority stake in its Irish rival.Ryanair had launched a takeover bid of Aer Lingus in 2006, but it was blocked by the European Union's competition watchdog, the European Commission, which deemed that it was incompatible with the common market.In turn, Aer Lingus asked the commission to order Ryanair to divest all of its shares in Aer Lingus, which had risen to nearly 30 percent. The commission rejected the Aer Lingus request in 2007.
Britain's competition regulator said Thursday it had opened a probe into low-cost airline Ryanair's ownership of a major stake in its Irish rival Aer Lingus.The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it had opened a probe into the situation which dates from Ryanair becoming the top shareholder in Aer Lingus during its 2006 privatisation with a 30 percent holding.Ryanair has since tried twice to take majority control of Aer Lingus but was thwarted by the European Commission and the Irish government, which still holds a 25 percent stake in the carrier.
Low-cost airline Ryanair plans to make a 694-million-euro ($881 million) bid for its rival airline Aer Lingus in what it said Tuesday was an opportunity to form one strong Irish airline.Ryanair said in a statement to the Irish Stock Exchange that it intended to make an all-cash offer through a wholly owned subsidiary, Coinside, of 1.30 euros per share.It said the offer was a 38.3 percent premium over Tuesday's Aer Lingus share price and a 46.7 percent premium over the average price for the last six months.