Sunday 15 September 2019

Brexit move: Ryanair amends terms of €700m share buyback

Ryanair has amended the terms of its current €700m share buyback programme to ensure that its ownership structure adheres to EU rules in the event of a hard Brexit.
Ryanair has amended the terms of its current €700m share buyback programme to ensure that its ownership structure adheres to EU rules in the event of a hard Brexit.

Ryanair has amended the terms of its current €700m share buyback programme to ensure that its ownership structure adheres to EU rules in the event of a hard Brexit.

It said that it has made arrangements so that shares can be repurchased by way of block trades from EU holders of shares.

Ryanair said that any block share purchases from UK shareholders under its current buyback scheme will, in the event of a hard Brexit, "limit the proportionate number of shares held by or on behalf of non-EU shareholders and should therefore reduce the period that resolutions announced… on 11 March… would need to remain in place."

EU airlines have been ensuring that when the UK leaves the European Union that the carriers continue to ensure that they are more than 50pc-owned by shareholders within the trading bloc.

Airlines that will no longer be majority-owned by European Union nationals once Britain leaves the bloc, face the threat of losing their right to fly within the bloc after Brexit due to share ownership rules.

About 20pc of Ryanair's shares are owned by UK nationals and entities. In March, the airline confirmed its plans to deal with a hard Brexit.

That will see UK shareholders losing their voting rights, with all shares held by UK nationals deemed to be restricted shares. In the event of a hard Brexit, UK shareholders who subsequently want to sell their shares would only be able to sell them to an EU national.

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