International Airlines Group, the British Airways/Iberia behemoth, is making a formal bid for Aer Lingus.
It follows the sale of the Irish government’s 25% stake, but remains conditional on the approval of the flag carrier’s other big shareholder Ryanair.
The bid is priced at 1.38 billion euros, 2.55 euros per share.
For Ryanair, its stake is something of a dead investment, written off since a failed takeover, so it is expected to agree.
IAG won the government’s green light after giving assurances on jobs, transatlantic services and maintaining connections between Irish airports and London Heathrow.