Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe has insisted that no decision regarding the IAG offer to buy the State's 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus has been made.
The statement comes amid reports that the Government is preparing to reject the IAG offer today. Bloomberg news reported yesterday that an unnamed source said the deal, worth 1.4 billion, is set to be rejected.
As a result of the news, Aer Lingus shares plummeted nearly ten per cent in a day, the biggest one-day fall in 15 months. Stock prices finished at €2.12 yesterday, much lower than IAG's offer of €2.55 per share.
Despite the report, Minister Donohoe told the Irish Independent that he would meet with the Cabinet today to discuss the deal further.
“The Government is still evaluating what the best decision is for Aer Lingus and the country. Many different factors will be considered. Connectivity and the ability to grow employment remain vital concerns,” he said.
The future of Heathrow slots as well as employment remain the issues in the deal that the Government is hesitating over. Enda Kenny has previously stated he wants a "cast iron permanent guarantee" over the future of the Heathrow routes.