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Aer Lingus rejects a bid from IAG
18 Dec 2014 17:05
Aer Lingus has rejected an approach from British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines Group.
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The Irish airline said that IAG had made a "preliminary, highly conditional and non-binding approach" which it rejected two days ago.
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Aer Lingus said its board felt the proposal "fundamentally undervalues" the airline.
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IAG - which also runs Iberia and Vueling - confirmed it had made an informal takeover approach for Aer Lingus, adding that there was no certainty a further proposal or offer will be forthcoming.
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"International Consolidated Airlines Group notes the recent movement in the share price of Aer Lingus and confirms it submitted a proposal to make an offer for the company, which has been rejected by the board of Aer Lingus," IAG said in a brief statement that gave no indication of price.
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Shares in Aer Lingus had jumped in early trade on the back of a report in the Financial Times that IAG was considering a takeover bid.
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Aer Lingus shares were up 14% by mid-afternoon while shares in IAG - which also runs Iberia and Vueling - were up by 3.3%, after the Financial Times story, which cited "people familiar with the situation".
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Following statements from both groups, Aer Lingus' share price moderated somewhat, standing 10% higher by 4.30pm Irish time.
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Buying Aer Lingus would give IAG additional slots at Heathrow Airport, the main British Airways hub in London which is operating close to its capacity.
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However any acquisition of Aer Lingus would need the backing of Irish carrier Ryanair - which owns a 29.9% stake in Aer Lingus after three failed takeover attempts - and the Government, which owns 25% of carrier.
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