Shareholders back sale as Government formally accepts Aer Lingus bid
Published 17/07/2015 | 02:30
The Government has formally accepted IAG's €1.36bn takeover bid for Aer Lingus.
During an extraordinary general meeting in Dublin this morning, Aer Lingus shareholders backed the sale of the airline to British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG).
Shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of all four resolutions, including measures relating to connectivity guarantees, thereby clearing the way for the sale.
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the outcome was the "right decision" for long-term growth in Ireland.
IAG could be in control of the airline within two weeks if the takeover goes ahead Aer Lingus chairman, Colm Barrington, has said.
Speaking at yesterday's EGM, he also said it was a "gross mistake" to say that Aer Lingus has raided the pension fund.
One shareholder criticised the fact Aer Lingus had approximately €1bn in cash - considering there had been a pension deficit.
"Everyone knew of the pensions deficit, you raided the pensions and yet there's a billion in the bank. You couldn't fund pensions out of the billion-euro fund you have?" he asked.
"Aer Lingus has not touched the pension fund. In fact, it has contributed significantly to it," said Mr Barrington, as a number of people protested outside the EGM over cuts made to the pension scheme.
Mr Barrington insisted the takeover didn't spell the end of an era for Aer Lingus.