Family to pocket Irpounds 40m as Ryanair floats

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The Independent Online
Tony Ryan and his three sons will collectively pocket more than Irpounds 40m from the flotation of Ryanair, the Irish airline he founded 12 years ago. The windfall for the Ryan family comes less than a year after they collected Irpounds 56m for selling a 38 per cent stake in the company to Michael O'Leary, chief executive, and David Bonderman, the US investor.

Moreover, the value of the family's remaining stake, which has been reduced from 62 per cent to 35 per cent by the flotation, looks set to soar. The price for the shares on offer in the flotation on the Irish Stock Exchange and on Nasdaq in the US was set yesterday right at the top end of the range, at 195p. However, anticipating a scramble when official dealings begin today, dealers were yesterday quoting a Grey Market price of 300p. The flotation share offer was 18 times oversubscribed.

The Grey Market price values the company at Irpounds 477m compared with the Irpounds 310m value put on the company by the flotation price.

James Osborne, a director of Ryanair, claimed that the success of the flotation was "a significant step in establishing Ryanair as Europe's leading low-fares airline".

The company also announced that it had made progress in averting a potentially damaging all-out strike planned for next Tuesday by ground-handling staff.

The company has 130 ground-handling staff of whom 73 are baggage-handlers. A spokesman for the company said yesterday that 52 out of the 73 baggage- handlers had signed a notice to the effect that they wished to suspend proposed industrial action and to "resolve any issues of concern direct with the company".