The London market shook off yesterday’s hefty falls as investors cheered news that the Irish government has agreed to sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus to British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG).
The FTSE 100 Index was 25.6 points higher at 6975.3, recovering some of the more than 80 point point losses suffered the previous session on fears that Greece would not be able to meet an upcoming payment due to the International Monetary Fund.
IAG was up more than 1%, or 7.5p to 552p, after the Irish government and the Aer Lingus board last night backed its protracted €1.36 bn (£961 million) takeover offer for the flag carrier.
Last year, Aer Lingus rejected two takeover offers from IAG saying they undervalued the business.
However, budget rival Ryanair, which owns just under a 30% stake in Aer Lingus ,is yet to make a decision on what to do with its holding.
Ryanair has in recent years made repeated unsuccessful attempts to buy Aer Lingus. Shares in Ryanair lifted 2 cents (1.4p) to 11.50 euros (814p).
In the FTSE 250, De La Rue – which prints notes for the Bank of England - sparked further share falls as it said its annual profits fell sharply as it continued to face challenging market conditions and price pressures.
The Basingstoke-based firm, which also makes passports and tax stamps, said underlying pre-tax profit fell by a quarter to £57.7 million after it also experienced lower levels of new business at its security products unit.
Shares slumped 9%, or 48.5p to 505p.