There are now two newspaper reports that the third bid by the combined BA/Iberia group to acquire Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus seems likely to succeed. The two previous offers have been rejected by the Aer Lingus Board of Directors.
The bid of EUR2.50 per share is the third in a month.
Ownership of the airline is held by the Irish Government (about 25%) and Ryanair, the low cost carrier who owns 29.8%. The Ryanair stake was built up when they hoped to take over Aer Lingus.
The current Chief Executive of IAG (the combined BA/IB parent) is a former Chief Executive of Aer Lingus.
There is concern within Ireland as to the impact this acquisition might have on loss making services and the strategic national interest faced with an economy that is slowing returning to normal after the recession, although the days of the Celtic Tiger seem a long way off.
Any merger would be some time off but it asks a dozen questions – the models of the two airlines are very different. BA offers a full free drinks service in EuroTraveller where as Aer Lingus is a one class airline (except for Long Haul to the USA) which charges for everything. Time will tell.