|Aer Lingus Airbus A320-200|
The reason for this announcement is, that the Irish government have to sell it´s stakes in various companies to pay it´s debts. It´s expected, that the government-owned 25-percent stake will be sold in early 2013. Ryanair said, that they would pay 1.30 Euro per share. 2007 the airline offered the double price. After the Ryanair offer, Aer Lingus would be nearly 700 million Euro worth.
But there could be some other inter interested parties: Etihad has recently acquired an 3 percent stake and is probably interested in an higher stake. In the past Etihad has bought stakes in several airlines. An other potential buyer could be the American JetBlue. JetBlue and Aer Lingus have a very similar business model.
Ryanair hopes, that the competition guardians do not block it´s trial for this time, respecting the takeovers of bmi and Brussels Airlines.
An other interesting question is: What would Ryanair do if they buy Aer Lingus? Would they absorb the Aer Lingus brand or operate Aer Lingus as an independent carrier. The biggest problem with an integration of Aer Lingus in Ryanair would be the different fleet: Aer Lingus uses Airbus A320s and Ryanair Boeing 737s. The other point is, that Aer Lingus make much money on routes, Ryanair never would offer, for example routes to Heathrow, Amsterdam, CDG and similar. Would they be disconnected or would Ryanair begin to fly this routes? Also the fact, that Aer Lingus can attract business travellers is to mind. Therefore probably Ryanair would let the Aer Lingus brand alive. As an brand of quality.