Ryanair mulls legal action in Aer Lingus bid

Ryanair may mount a legal challenge if its bid to buy Irish rival Aer Lingus is blocked by the European Union but it will not pursue further acquisitions if the merger ultimately fails, its chief executive said yesterday.

Michael O’Leary, who in 20 years has grown Ryanair from six planes to 300, is trying for the third time to buy Ireland’s once dominant airline.

The EU says the deal may curb competition. O’Leary said if the effort fails, the airline will focus on growing organically and take advantage of the “enormous” opportunities created by the rapid deterioration in the finances of European legacy airlines like Iberia and SAS.

“If it is not approved I can always appeal to the European courts,” O’Leary said.

“If they don’t allow this, we’ll just have to give up and grow organically,” he said.

The European Commission, which is due to make a decision on whether to approve the merger early next year, this week published its objections to the tie-up.

The statement was seen by some analysts as a set-back for Ryanair’s bid but O’Leary said the EU move was a procedural step which did not necessarily mean additional remedies were required.

Reuters

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Plea for major road funds - €5m could kickstart Cork to Limerick motorway

Sterling plunge over Brexit hits new car sales

Insurers seek urgent review with Ireland set to lose out

Tesco to pay €247m over accounting scandal


Breaking Stories

ESRI: Govt tinkering with taxes 'caused even greater austerity' during economic crisis

New energy supplier, BEnergy, offers lowest standard unit rate and standing charge in market

Samsung prepares to launch flagship smartphone

Worries over future of Ireland's 'fluid' border as Article 50 looms

Lifestyle

Are left-handed people in their right minds?

Liz Bonnin gets a 'sobering reminder' of the power of nature in series on the Galapagos

There's little help or understanding about Lyme disease in Ireland

More From The Irish Examiner