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US firm formally notifies Ryanair of 3pc stake in carrier

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Anticipation: Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary thinks flights will be 40pc operational by July

Anticipation: Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary thinks flights will be 40pc operational by July

Anticipation: Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary thinks flights will be 40pc operational by July

IT'S taken Massachusetts Financial Services Company nine months to formally notify Ryanair and the Central Bank of Ireland that it owns a more than 3pc stake in the carrier.

The investment giant, more commonly known now as MFS Investment Management, has notified the airline and the Central Bank that its holding exceeded the 3pc mark where stakes must be notified to the stock market on July 9 last year. But Ryanair was only formally notified of the stake on Wednesday of this week.

MFS owns 3.04pc of Ryanair, or almost 34.2m shares in the airline. The stake is currently valued at €357.4m.

MFS acquired its holding in Ryanair last year via the carrier's American depository receipts.

The US company was established almost a century ago and has more than $500bn (€457bn)of assets under management.

It has been a subsidiary of Canada's Sun Life Financial for almost 40 years.

Ryanair's shares have fallen from a high of almost €17 during the past 52 weeks to their current €10.45 level.

The budget airline's chief executive Michael O'Leary said last week that Ryanair's fleet wouldn't be back in the air if social distancing rules were introduced that prevented the use of middle seats on jets in efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

He's hoping that 40pc of the airline's flights could be operational by July.

He anticipates that flights that month could be between 50pc and 60pc full.

EU transport ministers held a video conference on Wednesday to discuss the pandemic's impact on the sector and the challenges to arise on the relaxation of restrictions.

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