Ryanair Must Reduce Aer Lingus Stake to 5%

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Ryanair Must Reduce Aer Lingus Stake to 5%

The British Competition and Markets Authority has upheld its decision to force Ryanair to reduce its holding in Aer Lingus to five per cent, from its current 29.8 per cent.

Ryanair contested the ruling, originally made in 2013 by the Competition Commission, on the grounds that the ongoing IAG bid was a “material change of circumstances”, according to the Irish Times.

The authority considered submissions from interested parties on the matter, including Aer Lingus, IAG and the State.

However, Simon Polito, chairman of the CMA’s Ryanair-Aer Lingus inquiry group, said that Ryanair's contention that circumstances have changed since the original ruling were not enough to change the outcome.

"Our provisional view is that neither recent events nor the time that has passed since our final report are reasons not to implement the divestment remedy,” said Polito.

Ryanair has said it won't oppose the €1.36 billion offer by IAG for a takeover of Aer Lingus.