Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
In what suggests a surprise announcement but in practical terms is not so, Ryanair has acquired 16% of Aer Lingus since its London and Dublin stock market introduction on Monday. It has made an all cash offer for the remaining shares.
Ryanair may be attempting a virtual monopoly of Irish owned airlines. The small turboprop operator Aer Arran is the only other operator based in the Emerald Isle.
This cash offer values Aer Lingus at approximately ”1.481bn ($1.45bn) and represents a premium of approximately 27% over last week's IPO share price of ”2.20 ($2.80) per share and an approximate premium of 12% over yesterday evening's closing price of ”2.51 ($3.20).
Speaking at the launch of the offer this morning, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary, said: ”This offer, if successful, means both companies will continue to operate separately and compete vigorously in the small number of routes on which we both operate (currently around 17 of the approximately 500 routes operated by the two airlines).
”We believe the price of ”2.80 ($3.60) to be an excellent offer. If accepted the Irish Government will realise over ”500m ($635.5m) from the sale of its Aer Lingus shares, and the employees will realise over ”220m ($279.6m) which equates to an average of over ”60,000 ($76,260) per employee."
UPDATED: With the news breaking at the opening of the business day on Thursday it took some hours for the formal reaction. In a brief announcement Aer Lingus said the bid "significantly undervalues the group's businesses and attractive long term growth potential". Proceedings in the Irish parliament, the Dail, were suspended earlier in the day as politicians argued the issue.