Aer Lingus urges a Ryanair rebuff

Aer Lingus yesterday urged its shareholders to reject the €700m (£553m) hostile takeover bid from its low-cost rival Ryanair.

The Irish flag carrier is on the end of its third takeover bid from Ryanair, which is offering €1.30 a share for the 70 per cent of the business it does not already own.

Aer Lingus said that offer was worth less than the gross cash it holds, which amounts to €1.96 a share. The airline added: "Aer Lingus is a strong and profitable airline with a proven business model; a strong balance sheet; and an internationally recognised and valued brand."

It said the offer "fundamentally undervalues the business", which had a net asset value of €1.48 per share at the end of June. It noted that this value did not include its valuable take-off and landing slots.

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