Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Board advises shareholders not to sell
Aer Lingus has rejected Ryanair's second attempt at a takeover.
Although the offer still stands, the Board of Aer Lingus strongly advised shareholders not to sell, describing the offer as "unsolicited" and one which "significantly undervalues Aer Lingus."
The airline said: "Aer Lingus remains a strong business with significant cash reserves and a robust long term future."
The Irish government and Aer Lingus employees, who own 25% and 14% stakes respectively, could still sell their shares to Ryanair.
Ryanair, which already owns 29.82% of its rival, hopes to create a group to compete with Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways.
Ryanair's first offer to buy 100% of the share capital in 2006, for €2.80 per share, was blocked by the European Commission, which was concerned about the creation of a monopoly.
Aer Lingus pointed out that the original ruling, made in 2007, is still subject of an appeal from Ryanair making any new offer impossible.
Ryanair's latest cash offer of €1.40 per share, equivalent to €748m, was just half the €1.5bn offered in 2006.
But Ryanair said its new offer is a 28% premium over the average closing price of Aer Lingus shares for the 30 days to 28 November, worth €325m in cash.
The airline said money made available to the Irish government could be spent in areas such as health and education.
It also said Aer Lingus employees would be "more welcoming" following job losses over the last two years.
Ryanair said it is seeking early meetings with the Irish ministers for finance and transport, the Board of Aer Lingus, and representatives from Aer Lingus's 4,600-strong Employee Share Ownership Trust (ESOT).
It hopes to outline a commitment to creating 1,000 new jobs by doubling Aer Lingus' short haul fleet from 33 to 66, while preserving its long haul operations.
It offered better job security, rapid growth and invited the Aer Lingus chairman to join the Board of Ryanair.