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Aer Lingus rejects IAG takeover bid

18 Dec 2014 by GrahamSmith

Aer Lingus has rejected a takeover bid from British Airways' parent company IAG.

IAG today confirmed it had made an offer to the Irish airline, but that this has been turned down.

Earlier, the Financial Times reported that an offer would be made before Christmas.

A deal would require the approval of Ryanair, which owns a 29.8 per cent stake in Aer Lingus, the Irish government, which has a 25 per cent stake, and the European Commission.

Aer Lingus is the third largest airline at London Heathrow, so the attraction for IAG would be to own its slots at the airport, which is BA's main base.

The Court of Appeal is scheduled to this month rule on whether Ryanair must cut its stake in Aer Lingus to just 5 per cent. The UK Competition Commission last year concluded Ryanair's almost 30 per cent shareholding could "substantially lessen" competition on routes between Ireland and the UK, and told it to slash its stake to 5 per cent (see news, August 2013).

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh was previously CEO at BA and at Aer Lingus before that.

iairgroup.com, aerlingus.com

Graham Smith

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