Over six months after International Airline Group (IAG) tabled its initial bid to takeover Aer Lingus, a final decision from the Irish government is expected in the coming weeks.
It is widely believed that the inter-departmental report is ready, although Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe has not confirmed that he has received it.
Based on conversations with sources familiar with the process, Newstalk understands that the Government is anxious to wait for the outcome of the Kilkenny by-election and the two referendums before moving ahead with the review, but it is likely that the IAG bid will come to cabinet on Tuesday, May 26th.
Last week the investment banking arm of the global financial firm, Credit Suisse which is one of three key advisers to the Government in relation to IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus took a position on Aer Lingus shares based on the differential between the prevailing Aer Lingus share price and the €2.55 per share that IAG has offered. This was effectively a bet that the deal will go through.
A spokesman for New Era, the State agency which manages the value of certain semi-state assets said that “there were detailed provisions in place to guard against possible conflicts of interest in the provision of advice in relation to a sale of Aer Lingus to IAG,” - Credit Suisse issued similar reassurances.
The position of Ryanair is now critical and whether they will signal acceptance of the IAG offer, as IAG requires, or at least that it’s not going to actively oppose the bid if the cabinet decides to approve it.