Sunday 22 April 2018

O'Leary offers €350m to buy a terminal at Dublin Airport

John Reynolds

RYANAIR chief Michael O'Leary has said he'd buy either of the terminals at Dublin Airport for €350m in the event that the Government put them up for sale.

"I'd buy one of the terminals tomorrow, no problem. We'd happily buy the old terminal. Or we'd buy the new one but we wouldn't pay €1.2bn for it, which is what it cost to build. You'd probably get €350m each for them," he said.

"It doesn't matter who buys the remaining one as long as they're different owners, so that there isn't a monopoly," Mr O'Leary told the Sunday Independent.

The low-fares airline will have a €3.8bn cash pile at the end of the year, analysts say, meaning it could easily afford to buy a terminal.

In stark contrast, the DAA has a debt mountain of €1.2bn and saw its debt downgraded by credit rating agency S&P last year, due to falling passenger numbers.

While a sale of Dublin's terminals at these prices would leave the taxpayer on the hook for about €500m, Mr O'Leary added there "will absolutely" be a sale of all semi-state assets because of the nation's indebtedness, "starting with their (the Government's) stake in Aer Lingus".

He added: "If the airline isn't sold to Ryanair, another buyer will break it up, whereas we'll grow passenger numbers to 20 million over three or four years and grow the fleet from 30 to 60 aircraft."

Sunday Indo Business

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