Aer Lingus offer formally withdrawn
Ryanair has withdrawn its takeover offer for Aer Lingus after the Irish government's rejected its €748m bid.
The decision by the government, a 24% stakeholder in the Irish flag carrier, was the final nail in the coffin following rejections by Aer Lingus' board and trade unions.
"Ryanair acknowledges that its offer cannot now be successful and accordingly the offer is now withdrawn," said the airline.
The takeover bid's success depended on acceptance by the Irish government, the second largest stakeholder after Ryanair which holds 28.92%.
There was no indication of intent from Aer Lingus' Employee Share Ownership Trust which represents a 14% stake.
Ryanair's €1.40 per share bid, labelled as a "rip off" which "seriously undervalued" by Aer Lingus executives, faced strong opposition from the start.
Formal complaints and accusations have characterised the struggle between Ryanair and Aer Lingus since the offer was first made in December last year and extended in January.
Ryanair's offer amount remained the same despite speculation. According to city analysts the all-cash offer was not enough to tempt shareholders.