The board of Aer Lingus accepted an offer of €1.4bn for the airline yesterday. The likely buyer is IAG, the owner of British Airways, but will be subject to approval of the shareholders and the regulators. IAG is headed by former Aer Lingus boss Willie Walsh and is a significant addition to the airline giant.
Aer Lingus said it was accepting a higher offer of €2.55 per share including a cash dividend following a number of attempts by IAG to buy Aer Lingus. This is the third offer by IAG, up from €2.40 earlier this month. Major shareholders in the firm include Ryanair (30%) and the Irish Government (25%), and both have a power of veto.
Senior executives at Aer Lingus are to set to earn about €30m from their bonus share scheme from the sale.
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