Cool response to Ryanair's Aer Lingus bid

Cool response to Ryanair's Aer Lingus bid
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Ryanair third attempt to take over its Irish rival Aer Lingus got a cool response from the Dublin government, which is selling its 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny said they will not be rushed into a “fire sale” to Ryanair’s boss Michael O’Leary.

He also said the European Competition Commission is discussing Ryanair’s bid.

It blocked a previous bid in 2007 on competition grounds. Britain’s competition watchdog also recently launched a probe into the control Ryanair already wields at its Irish rival.

On Tuesday Ryanair offered Aer Lingus shareholders a 38 percent premium to the market price.

Ryanair, which is Europe’s largest budget carrier, already owns just under 30 percent of Aer Lingus.

The surprise bid came after repeated offers by Ryanair to sell its stake in Aer Lingus.

“This offer represents a significant opportunity to combine Aer Lingus with Ryanair, to form one strong Irish airline group capable of competing with Europe’s other major airline groups,” O’Leary said in a statement.

Aer Lingus, which operates out of Europe’s largest airports, would complement Ryanair’s fleet, which focuses on cheaper regional bases, he said.

Ryanair said it believed it could overcome concerns about competition in the Irish market that derailed earlier bids, citing consolidation within the industry and increased capacity at Dublin airport.

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