Irish carrier Aer Lingus accepts IAG takeover bid
IRISH carrier Aer Lingus on Tuesday backed a 1.35-billion-euro ($1.51-billion) takeover offer from International Airlines Group, parent of British Airways and Iberia.
Aer Lingus announced in a statement that its board was “willing to recommend” IAG’s improved proposal — its third since December — subject to certain conditions.
The Dublin-based airline announced the news one day after revealing that IAG had submitted a third takeover proposal worth 2.55 euros per share, comprising 2.50 euros in cash and a dividend of 0.05 euros per share.
The company added the takeover now hinges on approvals from its two biggest shareholders, Ryanair and the Irish state.
And it stressed that IAG plans to operate Aer Lingus as a separate business, with its own brand, management and operations, should the takeover go ahead.
“The revised proposal remains conditional on, amongst other things, confirmatory due diligence, the recommendation of the board of Aer Lingus and the receipt of irrevocable commitments from Ryanair Limited and the Minister for Finance of Ireland to accept the offer,” Aer Lingus said in the statement.
“IAG has indicated that it would only proceed with its third proposal with an indication from the board of Aer Lingus that it would be willing to recommend the financial terms of the revised proposal.
“Having considered this request, the board has indicated to IAG that the financial terms are at a level at which it would be willing to recommend, subject to being satisfied with the manner in which IAG proposes to address the interests of relevant parties.”
Aer Lingus had already snubbed two previous takeover offers from IAG, pitched at 2.30 euros and 2.40 euros a share.
Irish low-cost rival Ryanair is meanwhile the biggest single shareholder in Aer Lingus and has itself made three failed attempts to buy the airline since 2007.
Ryanair owns about 30 percent and the Irish state’s holding is one-quarter of Aer Lingus.