Aer Lingus Group welcomed (28-Aug-2013) the issue by the UK Competition Commission (CC) of its final report concluding its investigation into Ryanair's minority shareholding in Aer Lingus. Following a detailed investigation the CC has concluded that Ryanair's shareholding in Aer Lingus is anti-competitive and that it must sell down its 29.82% stake in Aer Lingus to 5%. [more - original PR]
Aer Lingus: "Today's final report by the UK Competition Commission confirms that the minority shareholding in Aer Lingus held by our closest competitor, is anti-competitive and contrary to the interests of the approximately 14 million passengers who fly on routes between the island of Ireland and Great Britain. The Competition Commission should be commended on its thorough investigation and we look forward to the implementation of its findings. It was unacceptable that our principal competitor was allowed to remain on our share register with a shareholding of 29.82% and interfere with our business despite the European Commission blocking both Ryanair's first hostile takeover attempt six years ago and its most recent hostile takeover attempt earlier this year. Aer Lingus remains focussed on financial and operational performance and our recent results for the first half of 2013 demonstrate that Aer Lingus continues to deliver an excellent overall performance to the benefit of its shareholders. The implementation of the Competition Commission's decision that Ryanair must reduce its anti-competitive shareholding will position Aer Lingus for future growth and opportunities which will make it an even stronger competitor in the market," Colm Barrington, chairman. Source: Company statement, 28-Aug-2013.