Saturday 18 November 2017

Up in the air: Etihad in negotiations to buy 25pc stake in Aer Lingus reporters

MIDDLE EASTERN airline Etihad has approached the Government regarding the sale of its 25pc stake in Aer Lingus.

A report in today's Financial Times says that it is unclear how far the talks have progresses or if a deal is in the offing.

The move comes after the Government said it would sell its stake in the airline last month.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said that he would not sell it for less than €1 per share, which would value the stake at €132.4m and Aer Lingus at €529.6m, according to today’s report.

International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways is believed by analysts to be the frontrunner for the purchase of the government’s stake. BA chief executive Willie Walsh was a former boss of Aer Lingus.

Etihad’s chief executive James Hogan, met Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Gobal Irish Economic Forum in Dublin last week.

Mr Hogan has just announced 100 new jobs for cabin crew based in Ireland.

The Financial Time says that Etihad has been in talks with Virgin Atlantic on a possible partnership should the UK carrier bid for BMI, the lossmaking subsidiary of Lufthansa.

IAG, the holding company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, has tabled a preliminary offer for BMI, which holds valuable take-off and landing slots at Heathrow airport.

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