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Thread: MO'L Fuming Over Possible EU Block of Take-Over Bid

  1. #1
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    Cool MO'L Fuming Over Possible EU Block of Take-Over Bid

    Michael O'Leary, the boss of low-cost airline Ryanair, has said that the European Commission would be unlawful to halt a bid for Ireland's Aer Lingus.
    "Michael O'Leary has sought to 'take out' his closest competitor and he has failed," said Aer Lingus chief executive Dermot Mannion.

    "He is now lashing out in a vain attempt to disguise that failure."
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6241410.stm
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    Default Re: MO'L Fuming Over Possible EU Block of Take-Over Bid

    Big smiles on the faces of the Aer Lingus staff wandering around Dublin today......
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    Default Re: MO'L Fuming Over Possible EU Block of Take-Over Bid

    ATW Online: Wednesday July 7, 2010
    EU court upholds decision to block Ryanair-Aer Lingus merger
    The European Union's General Court ruled yesterday that the European Commission was right in June 2007 to block Ryanair's takeover of Aer Lingus on competition grounds and also was correct in stating that it could not force Ryanair to divest its minority shareholding in EI.

    The ruling derived from an appeal by Ryanair against the EC's refusal to clear its takeover bid and also an appeal by EI against the EC's rejection of its request to order Ryanair to divest its stake.

    None of the arguments put forward by Ryanair call into question the EC's finding that "the implementation of the merger would significantly impede effective competition as a result of the creation of a dominant position on a number of routes from or to Dublin, Cork and Shannon," the General Court stated. "Those dominant positions are monopolistic or very significant and are sufficient, in themselves, to validate the Commission's finding that the implementation of the merger must be declared incompatible with the common market."

    Regarding the EC's refusal to order Ryanair to divest its shareholding, the General Court concluded that the EC followed "required legal and factual" justifications.

    "Today's rejection by the European Court of Ryanair's appeal confirms that a takeover of Aer Lingus by Ryanair would harm consumers and lead to higher prices on Irish routes," EI Chairman Colm Barrington said, adding that it is "regrettable that the court has not taken this opportunity to take the further step necessary to address the anticompetitive effects of Ryanair's minority shareholding in Aer Lingus, which is contrary to the interests of the majority of our shareholders."

    Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said the court's ruling "will not prevent" it from making a future offer for EI, "but obviously any such offer will have to take account of the court's detailed ruling. Ryanair has no immediate plans to make a third offer for Aer Lingus, which in any event would be unlikely to succeed unless the Irish government decides to sell its 25% stake."

    He reiterated that the LCC continues to believe that "the long-term financial viability of Aer Lingus can only be secured as part of one strong Irish airline group, particularly when the rest of Europe's airlines are consolidating."

    By Cathy Buyck
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