Ryanair Purchase Blocked
European Union regulators have refused to validate the third purchase attempt by Ryanair to acquire Aer Lingus. The blocking of the sale is viewed by Ryanair executives as 'politically motivated' and would take the matter to court.
The Commission issued its veto with the reason that Ryanair's bid did not provide enough concessions to address issues as to the dominance of the planned merger over 46 air routes. The Eur694 million offer has been opposed by the Irish parliament and can result in higher rates for the eleven million passengers over these coveted routes.
Ryanair already owns 30% of Aer Lingus and has been trying to fully acquire the airline to expand its market reach and had offered to divest Aer Linus routes in favor of other European airlines like Flybe and British Airways as concessions.
Should Ryanair appeal the EU decision, the resulting backlash could hurt possible investors for Aer Lingus and make Ireland unable to divest its 25% share in the airline, a condition required under an EU/IMF bailout plan.