Saturday 21 April 2018

Current offer from IAG for Aer Lingus 'not persuasive enough' - Minister for Agriculture

Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney Newsdesk Newsdesk

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said the current offer from IAG for Aer Lingus is ‘not persuasive enough’.

No timetable has been set for the Irish Government to decide on whether to sell its 25.1pc stake in Aer Lingus.

The offer from the international airline business -  at £1.90 (€2.55) a share - has been received with mixed opinion.

The proposed deal has gained some amount of favour among officials after assurances were given by Willie Walsh, head of IAG.

Speaking to Ivan Yates on Newstalk, Minister Coveney said the government was not primarily concerned with the monetary value of the offer.

Read more: Aer Lingus sale: Boss says airline 'vulnerable' if it's not bought by IAG

“There are mixed views within Fine Gael, but there’s a process underway.

“Our primary concern is not the monetary value of shares, but the public interest.”

He said that regional connectivity was paramount – particularly the Heathrow slots for Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports.

“As of yet, we don’t have an offer which is persuasive enough”, he added.

Stephen Kavanagh, who'll take over the top Aer Lingus job from March 1, has said.

that any jobs created following an IAG takeover would be "more sustainable" because they would be built on "stronger foundations".

The new chief executive added that Aer Lingus could survive as a standalone entity, but that it would do so in an increasingly competitive environment.

Aer Lingus is due to release its financial results for 2014 next Tuesday.

It is understood Aer Lingus has also begun to engage with stakeholders such as industry groups and unions to persuade them of the merits of the deal.

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