IAG sweetens the deal in quest for Aer Lingus

Willie Walsh

By Patrick Whyte,

International Airlines Group has made a series of “legally binding commitments” in a bid to assuage fears over its proposed takeover of Aer Lingus.

IAG’s €1.36 billion offer is dependent on support from shareholders, which include both the Irish government (25%) and Ryanair (29.8%).

The parent company of both British Airways and Iberia has said that:

  • Aer Lingus’s 23 slot pairs at Heathrow cannot be sold (including to other IAG airlines)
  • Aer Lingus will remain headquartered in the Republic of Ireland
  • There will a continuation of routes to and from Ireland for five years

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “We are committed to maintaining and strengthening Aer Lingus. We want to develop air services that ensure Ireland’s connectivity is enhanced.

“In seeking the support of the Irish government, we propose to offer it legally binding commitments that go well beyond the protections currently available to it.

“These commitments would give the Irish government an important role that they do not have today in securing the future of Aer Lingus.”

Any agreement on a deal that includes IAG’s commitments will be subject Irish Takeover Rules and EU competition review.

Trade unions in Ireland want the government to ensure that there are guarantees over jobs.

Ryanair, Aer Lingus’s other major shareholder, is remaining tight-lipped over a potential takeover.

“Since Ryanair has received no formal approach, or offer for our shares in Aer Lingus, we will not engage in any speculation about this proposal, other than to restate our position which is that the Board of Ryanair will carefully consider any such offer, should one be received, from IAG or any other party, in due course,” the airline said.

Sourced by TTG Digital

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