The Irish Government announced on Tuesday that it would consider Ryanair’s bid to take over their Irish rival Aer Lingus. They also admitted that they would not rule out the sale of their 25 percent stake.
A spokesperson for the transport minister Leo Varadkar told Reuters: “The government is considering the offer.”
Ryanair launched their third bit to take over the iconic airline Aer Lingus last week. They offered shareholders 38 percent premium to the market. This deal would require regulators to drop opposition to a merger.
Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair, already Europe’s largest budget airline, owns 30 percent of Aer Lingus. Their aim is to secure at least 50 percent of shares.
The Government spokesperson said a decision would be made depending “on what the offer means for route options and air fares from Dublin, what price the government can get for its stake and whether competition authorities will allow the takeover.”
When asked whether the Government would sell their 25 percent stake the spokesperson said they would not rule that out.
Last week when O’Leary’s third bid was made public he said he planned to use the takeover of Aer Lingus to allow Ryanair to be more competitive in Europe.
According to BBC reports he said “Since the European Commission recently approved BA's takeover of British Midland, and Etihad recently invested in Aer Lingus, and there are reports that it has a 'strong interest' to acquire the government's stake, and since the Irish government has decided to sell this stake, we believe now is the time to focus on the right long-term strategic partner for Aer Lingus.”