// Low-cost carrier Ryanair has announced its intention to make an all-cash offer of €1.30 (US$1.65) per share for the entire share capital of fellow Irish carrier Aer Lingus, valuing the company at €694 million ($880m).
The announcement comes only days after Ryanair “welcomed” the decision by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to refer its existing 29.82% stake in Aer Lingus to the UK Competition Commission for review.
The offer will be made through Ryanair’s wholly-owned subsidiary Coinside Limited. Ryanair has stated that its valuing represents a 38.3% premium over Aer Lingus’ closing share price yesterday (June 19), and a 46.7% premium over the last six months.
Ryanair claims that the European air transport market is “inexorably” consolidating into five large airlines – Air France, British Airways, easyJet, Lufthansa and Ryanair – and that its acquisition of Aer Lingus would best secure the Irish flag carrier’s future by reducing its fares and costs and “reversing its recent traffic decline”.