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

Cork Company of the Year Awards 2017: 'Large' Category

Highest fuel prices for almost 18 months - and it could get worse

Challenge for Irish business negotiating new trading arrangements during Brexit negotiations

Cork Business Association celebrating its 60th in style


Breaking Stories

The best part of Resident Evil 7 is playing in virtual reality

Donald Trump threatens business leaders considering relocation with border tax

Tekken 7 will arrive in the UK on June 2

Babee on Board helps pregnant women get a seat on public transport

Lifestyle

It's been a long and winding road for music group Fairport Convention

We’ll have to shout ‘stop’ to non-bio plastics, or else...

The Big Book of Happiness is here

Smartphones have ushered in a golden age of personal eccentricity

More From The Irish Examiner