Poison-pill shareholders Ryanair blocking investment in Aer Lingus

Ryanair, the World’s most hated airline, have been accused by Aer Lingus of deterring the likes of British Airways from taking a stake in the business because of Ryanair’s “poison-pill” shareholding in Ireland’s national airline.

The airline’s new chief executive, Christoph Mueller, said bosses of European carriers had cited Ryanair’s 29% ownership of the business as an obstacle to any deal. Potential investment partners in the loss-making airline include British Airways and US operator United Airlines, with whom it has strategic alliances.

“A minority shareholding from an alliance partner is restricted by Ryanair. The shareholding works as a poison pill,” he said. Mueller added that he had met Ryan­air’s outspoken chief executive, Michael O’Leary, at an industry gathering but had yet to have a one-to-one encounter with his largest shareholder. Citing the example of Germany’s Lufthansa, which has invested in Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines, Mueller said a corporate tie-up with another airline was impossible while Ryanair stays on the share register.

“The fact that Ryanair is a shareholder is a limiting factor in attracting other airline shareholders in the framework of a global alliance,” he added.

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2 thoughts on “Poison-pill shareholders Ryanair blocking investment in Aer Lingus

  1. I have two Aer Lingus return tickets at present, one to be used on February 20 for a week to Ireland, one for the summer holidays. To me Aer Lingus rocks, as I have flown AL numerous times and it has never done anything nasty to me. I like their planes and their friendly cabin crew, that is real Irish to me. However, it is not nice to know that I will be flying Ryanair for 29%, which makes me a hypocrite when I say that I will never fly Ryanair. I hope that AL will be able to rid itself from this Trojan horse, the 29% Ryanair share. And I wish AL all the best in the future, allied with reputable airlines.

  2. I flew to Ireland on February 20 and returned on February 28 on Aer Lingus. Als always, pleasant flights with friendly cabin crrew, a 75-minute delay on the way home was caused by high winds at Amsterdam. I had only a small trolly which I did not check in. On the way back I saw Aer Lingus and Ryanair cabin baggage racks. I wanted to know whether my trolly would fit in both. It fitted easily in the Aer Lingus rack, but got stuck in the Ryanair one. As some flights were full, at the gate Aer Lingus tagged surplus bags and checked them in for free. With the other arline it would have been more than likely this: “Get your wallets out! Credit cards accepted!”.

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