Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary again said the Irish Government is likely to sell its stake in Aer Lingus to reduce the country’s budget deficit (Irish Examiner, 01-Apr-2011). Mr O’Leary said the sale was “a certainty”, but added Aer Lingus “probably wouldn’t be sold to Ryanair”. The Irish Government holds a 25% stake in Aer Lingus, worth EUR96.5 million at the current market price. Ryanair owns 29.8% of Aer Lingus and regulators have previously blocked its attempts at a full takeover.
Meanwhile, Irish newspaper The Independent stated Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller would receive up to EUR890,000 as a bonus in the event of a successful takeover (The Independent, 01-Apr-2011). Other key directors and senior managers would also be eligible for payouts.