Aer Lingus urges rejection of Ryanair bid

Aer Lingus this morning reiterated its call for shareholders in the airline to reject Ryanair's takeover offer.

At the end of last month, Aer Lingus urged shareholders to deny Ryanair the chance of controlling the former flag carrier, saying that the E694m offer grossly undervalues Aer Lingus.

Today, Aer Lingus said that its board unanimously recommends that shareholders take no action in relation to the offer.

It also urged shareholders not to sign any document sent by Ryanair or its advisers. "Aer Lingus is a strong and profitable airline with a proven business model; a strong balance sheet; and an internationally recognised and valued brand. The Board's unanimous view is that Ryanair's Offer to acquire control of Aer Lingus for E1.30 per share fundamentally undervalues Aer Lingus and represents a significant discount to the intrinsic value of the business," the Aer Lingus board statement said. It added that the offer of E1.30 per share represents a discount of 34 per cent. to Aer Lingus' gross cash per share of E1.96 (total E1,049.9 million) and that the gross cash on Aer Lingus' balance sheet more than pays for Ryanair's Offer. It added that the offer is a discount of 12 per cent. to Aer Lingus' Net Asset Value per share of E1.48 based on the NAV shown in the 30 June 2012 balance sheet and that this NAV does not attribute any value to either the airline's attractive slot portfolio or brand. "Aer Lingus delivered a E130 million turnaround in operating performance between 2009 and 2011. The Group continues to make strategic, operating and financial progress. Such progress is reflected in the 2012 first half results released on 31 July 2012. On that date, Aer Lingus stated that, if current trading conditions continue, operating profit, before net exceptional items, for 2012 will be at least that achieved in 2011 (E49.1 million)".

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