Aer Lingus board backs takeover bid

The board of Aer Lingus will recommend its shareholders accept a takeover deal from International Airlines Group, the company said today.

In a statement issued this morning, the board of Aer Lingus said it was willing to recommend the financial deal in the proposal, provided IAG addresses "the interests of relevant parties."

Those include major shareholders in Ryanair and the Irish state, as well as employees and their unions.

Cabinet ministers are due to be briefed at their weekly meeting this morning by the Minister for Transport.

It emerged yesterday that the third offer values the airline at €2.55 a share – approximately €1.3bn in total – though a formal offer has yet to be made as the final details are hammered out.

As major shareholders, both the government and Ryanair would have the power to block the deal if they are not satisfied.

The country's biggest union wants the Government to block the sale until it has secured a number of guarantees.

Siptu wants commitments in relation to what it calls the strategic interests of the country, and conditions of employment, while the Transport Minister yesterday said that international access and job security would be his priority in considering any proposal.

The decision could take weeks, and will not be made today.

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