3 SEPTEMBER 2012
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The proposed Ryanair takeover of Aer Lingus rolls on, but from a Michael O’Leary point of view the proposal is not dead. The EU now says it is looking into the deal and would decide by 14 January whether to clear or block the deal. Mr O’Leary first proposed a takeover in 2007 and this is at least his third attempt to acquire the former Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus.
Currently Ryanair owns 29.4% of Aer Lingus, the Irish Government 25.4%, with amongst other investors Etihad having 3%.
It is thought that the combined carriers would dominate about 35 routes, but Ryanair is bound to cite Lufhansa’s take-over of Brussels Airways, and BA of bmi, similar moves but allowed.
"On a large number of European routes, mainly out of Ireland, the two airlines are each other's closest competitors and barriers to entry appear to be high. Many of these routes are currently only served by the two airlines", the Commission said in a statement. www.aerlingus.com www.ryanair.com
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