Etihad in talks to buy Aer Lingus stake: FT
London, October 17, 2011
Etihad, the Abu Dhabi-based airline, has approached the Irish government to buy its 25 percent stake in the national carrier Aer Lingus, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
The newspaper cited people with knowledge of the move as saying it is unclear how far talks have progressed and that they might not result in any deal.
The approach comes after James Hogan, Etihad chief executive, met the Irish prime minister Enda Kenny at a recent investment event in Dublin, the global Irish Economic Forum.
The Irish government announced in September it would sell its stake in the national carrier but would not sell it for less than 1 euro per share, which would value the stake at 132.4 million euros ($183 million) and the airline at 529.6 million euros.
Etihad has also been in talks with Virgin Atlantic on a possible partnership should the UK carrier bid for BMI, the lossmaking subsidiary of Lufthansa , the Financial Times said, citing people familiar with the talks.
Aer Lingus and Etihad were unavailable for immediate comment. - Reuters