In an announcement to the Irish Stock Exchange on 19th June, the board of Ryanair announced its intention to make an all cash offer for 100% of the share capital of Aer Lingus. Under the Takeover Rules, Ryanair must issue its formal offer document to Aer Lingus shareholders by 17th July setting out in detail the terms of its offer. As the Government is a minority shareholder in Aer Lingus, under Irish Takeover Panel Rules, there are restrictions on what any member of the Government can say in relation to the proposed offer at this time. For the moment, like all shareholders, the Government will await the formal offer from Ryanair and also the response of the Board of Aer Lingus.
In considering the formal offer, when it is made, the Government will take account of four factors:
1. what is best for passengers in terms of connectivity and air fare;
2. what is best for taxpayers in terms of the price we can get for the stake;
3. what is best for the economy overall in terms of competitive access to services in and out of Ireland; and
4. the views of the regulatory authorities in relation to any bid.