Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Sale of Aer Lingus

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which he is kept up to date on matters appertaining to the future development of Aer Lingus including possible takeover offers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57663/12]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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In relation to the future of the State's shareholding in Aer Lingus a Steering Group has been established to examine the potential options for the disposal of the shareholding and the issues that may need to be addressed in that context.  The Steering Group is chaired by my Department and comprises representatives from the Department of Finance, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and NewEra.

The position in relation to the recent Ryanair offer for Aer Lingus  has been considered by me and by the Government and is being kept under review. The Offer is currently the subject of a Phase II investigation by the European Commission under the EU Merger Regulation. The deadline for the Commission's decision is 27 February 2013.

At the Government meeting on Tuesday, the matter of the State's shareholding in Aer Lingus was discussed. The Government is committed to the sale of the stake in Aer Lingus at the right time under the right conditions. However, the Government is not prepared to support any offer that would significantly undermine connectivity or competitiveness for Ireland.


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