Ryanair bids for rival Aer Lingus again

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The budget airline Ryanair has launched another attempt to buy its biggest Irish rival Aer Lingus.

The budget airline Ryanair has launched another attempt to buy its biggest Irish rival Aer Lingus.

Ryanair says it plans to make a cash offer for Aer Lingus, which would value it at 694m euros ($883m; £561m). Ryanair will make the offer through a subsidiary called Coinside.

Ryanair already owns 30% of Aer Lingus.

On Monday, Ryanair’s existing holding was referred to the UK’s Competition Commission for a probe that could lead to it being forced to sell the stake.

When Ryanair tried to buy Aer Lingus in 2006, its attempt was blocked by the European Commission.

It said the 1.30 euro offer was a premium of 38.3% above Tuesday’s Aer Lingus closing price.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “This offer represents a significant opportunity to combine Aer Lingus with Ryanair, to form one strong Irish airline group capable of competing with Europe’s other major airline groups.

“Since the European Commission recently approved BA’s takeover of British Midland, and Etihad recently invested in Aer Lingus, and there are reports that it has a ‘strong interest’ to acquire the government’s stake, and since the Irish government has decided to sell this stake, we believe now is the time to focus on the right long-term strategic partner for Aer Lingus.”