Ryanair”s audacious bid for the former Irish state airline, Aer Lingus, seems to have failed, for the present at least. The end of the hostile take-over attempt comes in the form of a letter to investors from ceo Michael O”Leary stating that he will not increase his offer for shares.
The proposed take-over did seemed doomed from the start and follows a whole series of unsuccessful initiatives by Ryanair, all of which have kept the airline in the news but appear to be time consuming and expensive failures. However with the near 20% Aer Lingus stake Ryanair can remain an unwelcome and dormant shareholder with no seat on the board. Any rise in profits, and the share price, will be of value to Ryanair, and any moves in the opposite direction would enable the buccaneering airline to become disruptive -possibly causing Aer Lingus management grief.
In the document to Aer Lingus shareholders, Mr O”Leary makes his position clear: ”In our opinion, there is nothing in the Aer Lingus defence document or its strategy as articulated by the chief executive that justifies a price in excess of ”2.80. Accordingly, Ryanair confirms that it will not increase its offer of ”2.80 per Aer Lingus share."