Ryanair Statement on Aer Lingus
Ryanair today (7th September) responded to statements reportedly made by Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar that the Government might consider a disposal of its non strategic 25% shareholding in Aer Lingus.
Ryanair wishes to confirm the following:
1. If the Irish Govt wishes to dispose of its 25% stake in Aer Lingus, and if the Govt believes that any offer from Ryanair for this stake would be unwelcome, then Ryanair is happy to confirm that it will not bid for the Govt’s 25% stake (although this may result in the Govt realising a lower price for its shares).
2. Ryanair would welcome another financially strong airline/investor acquiring the Govt’s 25% stake, which could then work with Ryanair and other like minded shareholders to restore shareholder value, which has been destroyed over the past five years by the Board and Management of Aer Lingus.
3. Should another financially strong airline/investor acquire the Govt’s 25% stake, Ryanair would not rule out entering into discussions with that party for the subsequent disposal of Ryanair’s near 30% stake subject to an acceptable agreement on price and maximising shareholder value.
Ryanair will not engage in, or comment upon, rumour or speculation, but remains willing to work with any other Aer Lingus shareholders to maximise shareholder value which has under the current Board of Aer Lingus collapsed by more than 80% from over €3.00 per share in early 2007 to less than €0.60 per share in recent days.