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Selling up wise way for Aer Lingus small shareholders to hedge bets


Shares in Aer Lingus closed yesterday at €2.37 - 18 cent below the latest offer tabled by IAG for the airline.

Normally in such takeover approaches, the actual share price would more closely mirror, or even surpass the offer price, based on whether or not shareholders believed the deal had a chance of succeeding, or even if a higher bid was likely.

But analysts yesterday reckoned that smaller so-called 'retail' shareholders in Aer Lingus, rather than big institutional investors, were selling their holdings - taking advantage of the high share price now rather than waiting months to get their hands on the little bit extra they might make if the deal at €2.55 a share succeeds.

A small shareholder with 1,000 Aer Lingus shares, for instance, could have sold them yesterday for €2,370.

If an offer at €2.55 succeeds, they would receive just an extra €180. And that's assuming a bid is successful.

Should IAG's efforts fail, the share price will tumble. It could also take years before it recovers.

Selling shares now is probably a wise way for many small shareholders to hedge their bets.


Irish Independent