December 18, 2012
The government of Ireland has refused to support Ryanair's (NASDAQ: RYAAY ) bid for the nation's incumbent air carrier Aer Lingus, the Transport Ministry said in a statement. The budget operator had offered 694 million euros ($913 million) for the 25% stake that is to be sold by the government.
Ryanair already holds 30% of Aer Lingus; thus, the additional shareholding would give it over half of the company.
In its brief statement, the government quoted Transport Minister Leo Varadkar as saying that "the Ryanair remedies package does not satisfy our concerns about connectivity, competitiveness, or employment for Ireland."
That reluctance might not have a significant impact on the sale. The European Commission has the final decision on Ryanair's offer; it is to rule on the bid in early 2013.
The company's current offer is its third attempt to win control of Aer Lingus; the commission rejected the first in 2007, while the company ultimately withdrew another offer it made in 2009.
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