IAG share price in focus as CEO insists Aer Lingus deal isn’t dead

on Feb 12, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

The chief executive of International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) has insisted that a tie-up deal with Aer Lingus (LON:AERL) is not dead, the Irish Independent has reported. Willie Walsh, who faces a grilling by Irish MPs today, remains certain that he can convince Dublin to sell its 25.1 percent stake in the Irish airline.

IAG’s share price has been little changed in early morning trading, having shed 0.09 percent to 552.00p as of 08:41 GMT. Aer Lingus’ share price which has been under pressure this week amid reports that the Irish government will reject IAG’s offer has added about two percent this morning.
In an interview with the Irish Independent, Walsh said that a deal with Aer Lingus was not dead despite the massive opposition which has been voiced over the past couple of weeks.

“I wouldn’t be in Dublin if I didn’t believe it was possible,” IAG’s chief executive said. “That’s clearly the challenge for the politicians – do they have the political will to see it through. I think we’ve made a proposal that represents good value to shareholders.”
The British Airways and Iberia parent has offered to buy Aer Lingus for €2.55-per-share, valuing the Irish carrier at €1.4 billion. IAG has also unveiled several commitments in an attempt to secure Dublin’s approval, including ensuring that the Irish carrier’s 23 landing slots at Heathrow could not be sold, as well as maintaining the slots on Irish routes for five years.

The Irish Times this morning quoted Walsh as saying that Aer Lingus would grow both its transatlantic business and its fleet if IAG succeeded in taking over the Irish carrier.
Speaking after outlining IAG’s proposals to Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe, Walsh argued that the company’s European network and sales force, combined with that of its US partner, American Airlines, would considerably boost the growth already achieved across the Atlantic by Aer Lingus.He added that Aer Lingus would also be plugged into Iberia’s hub at Madrid Airport, which offers large numbers of routes to Latin America.
As of 09:41 GMT, Thursday, 12 February, International Consolidated Airlines Grp share price is 556.75p.

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