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June 19, 2012

Ryanair Again Attempts Aer Lingus Takeover With $880 Million Bid

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Ryanair's Boeing 737s could soon share a hangar with Aer Lingus's Airbus A330s. (Photos by Gordon Gebert [top] and Mark Hsiung [bottom])

Ryanair says it will bid $880 million (€664 million) in another attempt to takeover Irish rival Aer Lingus.

The Dublin-based low-fare airline said that it planned to offer $1.65 (€1.30) per share for control of Ireland’s flag carrier, which would represent a 39 percent premium over Tuesday’s closing price of Aer Lingus shares on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Ryanair already owns 29.4 percent of Aer Lingus, while Ireland’s government owns 25.4 percent, a stake which it may be forced to sell off as part of its European Commission bailout agreement. Executives and government officials have in the past said they would refuse to sell to Ryanair.

In a statement, Ryanair said that they believe the competition concerns that caused European Commission regulators to block a 2007 bid for Aer Lingus have been alleviated. “Ryanair believes that any competition concerns which the European Commission may have can be addressed by Ryanair making appropriate remedies prior to the completion of this offer and by significant synergies and cost efficiencies resulting from this combination.”

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