Ryanair makes fresh takeover bid for Ireland's flag carrier Aer Lingus

Ryanair has made a fresh attempt to buy Aer Lingus, after the low-cost airline unveiled its intention to bid €694m (£560m) for its Irish rival last night.

The low cost carrier, headed by Michael O'Leary, already owns 29.82 per cent of Aer Lingus. Its €1.30-a-share cash offer would value the stock Ryanair does not already own at €486m. Aer Lingus shares closed at €0.94 before the approach was made last night.

Ryanair's latest offer comes within days of the Office of Fair Trade referring Ryanair's stake in Aer Lingus to the Competition Commission to consider if it affected competition for UK consumers. The regulator could force Mr O'Leary to sell the Aer Lingus stake, which was built up when the shares were closer to €3 apiece.

It comes five years after the European Commission blocked its attempt to buy Aer Lingus shortly after the Irish flag carrier was privatised. However, Ryanair said yesterday "that circumstances have changed materially since its first unsuccessful bid in late 2006".

Firstly, Ryanair argued that Europe's airlines are in the process of merging into five large groups that will be led by Air France, British Airways, EasyJet, Lufthansa and Ryanair. It cited last year's merger of Heathrow's two biggest operators, BA and Iberia, as evidence the competition landscape had changed. Ryanair's takeover of Aer Lingus would allow its acquisition to cut costs and reverse its recent traffic decline, the company added.

Dublin Airport, which was once congested, is now operating at about 50 per cent capacity, "removing the barrier to any new entrants", Ryanair added. Meanwhile, the Irish government now has to sell the 25 per cent it retained after Aer Lingus floated to meet IMF bailout conditions.

"Ryanair believes that any competition concerns which the European Commission may have can be addressed by Ryanair making appropriate remedies prior to the completion of this offer and by significant synergies and cost efficiencies resulting from this combination," the group said.

However, analysts were sceptical. Brian Devine, NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin said: "It is very hard to see how it would be accepted by European competition authorities."

Suggested Topics
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Data Analyst/Planning and Performance – Surrey – Up to £35k

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?