Statement by Minister Donohoe on the European Commission’s decision to give merger clearance to IAG’s Offer for Aer Lingus

14th July, 2015

“Following careful consideration of all of the issues involved I announced on 26 May last that the Government had decided to support IAG’s Offer for Aer Lingus. I stated at the time that formal acceptance of IAG’s Offer by the State would be dependent on a number of conditions being met to ensure the connectivity commitments contained in the Offer are implemented as agreed with IAG.

One of those conditions was the European Commission approving the Offer under the EU Merger Regulation on acceptable terms. I welcome today’s decision by the Commission to approve the acquisition of Aer Lingus by IAG. This Decision will now be reviewed in order to confirm that there is no impact on the connectivity commitments agreed with IAG.

Another condition for acceptance of the Offer by the State is the passing of resolutions by Aer Lingus shareholders at an EGM that are required to implement the connectivity commitments agreed with IAG.  The EGM will take place at 10am on Thursday and the State’s shareholding will be voting in favour of the relevant resolutions.

I have asked the inter-Departmental Steering Group to examine the Commission’s Merger Decision and, following the EGM on Thursday, to advise whether the conditions have been met to allow the Minister for Finance as the holder of the State’s 25.1% shareholding in Aer Lingus to formally accept the Offer.”