Thursday 23 November 2017

Ryanair says third Aer Lingus bid ‘unlikely’

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary. Photo: Getty Images
Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary. Photo: Getty Images

Louisa Fahy

Ryanair has said a third bid for rival carrier Aer Lingus is "highly unlikely."

“A third bid is highly unlikely unless or until the Irish government decides to dispose of its 25pc stake” in the carrier, Ryanair said in a Regulatory News Service statement today.

Ryanair offered €1.40 a share for Aer Lingus in late 2008 in a second unsuccessful takeover bid.

It is the largest investor in Aer Lingus, with almost a 30pc stake, followed by the Government. The Daily Mail newspaper last month reported that Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary held talks about making another offer, citing a person it didn’t identify.

Ryanair also said today that capital spending will fall to €100m a year in the fiscal year ending March 2013, from €1.2bn.

O’Leary said December 18 he’ll reduce growth and spending to fund payments to investors, after talks with Boeing over an order for 200 aircraft failed.

Cash reserves of €2.5bn will grow “substantially” by March 2013 and Ryanair plans to distribute surplus cash to investors from that date, the airline said.

Ryanair also said passenger numbers increased by 12pc in December to 4.9 million, while the load factor, a measure of average seat occupancy, rose 2 percentage points to 82pc.


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