DUBLIN, June 26 The Irish government on Tuesday
agreed to consider Ryanair's bid to take over Irish
rival Aer Lingus and said it had not ruled out a sale
of its own 25 percent stake.
Ryanair last week launched a third bid to take over Aer
Lingus, offering shareholders a 38 percent premium to the market
in a deal that would require regulators to drop opposition to a
Europe's largest budget carrier, which already owns just
under 30 percent of Aer Lingus, offered all shareholders 1.30
euros per share in a bid to secure at least 50 percent.
"The government is considering the offer," a spokesman for
the transport minister said after the issue was discussed at a
Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The government will decide depending on what the offer means
for route options and air fares from Dublin, what price the
government can get for its stake and whether competition
authorities will allow the takeover, he said.
Asked whether the government had ruled out the sale of its
own 25 percent stake, the spokesman said that had not been ruled
in or out.