IAG share price: CEO in talks with unions over Aer Lingus bid
International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) chief executive Willie Walsh has met union leaders as part of his campaign to win support for his company’s bid for Aer Lingus (LON:AERL), the Irish Times has reported.
IAG’s share price advanced in yesterday’s trading, adding two percent to close at 562.00p. Shares in Aer Lingus were also in demand, closing 0.90 percent higher at €2.24.
The Irish Times reported this morning that Willie Walsh and Aer Lingus’ incoming chief executive Stephen Kavanagh had met outgoing Irish Congress of Trade Unions general secretary David Begg, Jack O’Connor of Siptu and Shay Cody of Impact to discuss the group’s proposed €2.55-per-share offer for the Irish airline.
The newspaper noted that the union leaders were understood to have questioned Walsh on the possibility of job losses at the Irish flag carrier should the company be taken over by the British Airways parent. Walsh is believed to have repeated assurances he gave to Irish MPs earlier this month in a bid to secure the support of the Irish government which is Aer Lingus’ second-largest shareholder with a 25.1 percent stake.
The Irish airline reiterated in its full-year results statement this morning that its board was willing to recommend the financial terms of IAG’s offer to shareholders, and confirmed the FTSE 100 company’s intentions to preserve Aer Lingus as a separate operating business within the group with its own brand, management, head office and operations.
“Our performance in 2014 was strong, with significant growth in long haul and resilient short haul operations. To enhance these excellent results and to accelerate Aer Lingus’ growth, it is the Board’s strong belief that the company should now take the opportunity to combine with IAG,” the Irish carrier’s chair Colm Barrington said in the statement.
Aer Lingus today reported that its revenue had increased nine percent last year, while operating profit came in 18 percent higher at €72 million (£52 million). IAG is scheduled to release its full-year results on Friday.
As of 07:47 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February, International Consolidated Airlines Grp share price is 562.00p.