Thursday 16 July 2015
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, has welcomed the outcome of the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of Aer Lingus shareholders this morning (Thursday) which passed resolutions to enshrine the connectivity commitments secured by the Government from IAG into Aer Lingus’ Articles of Association giving them full legal effect.
The passing of the shareholder resolutions was one of the conditions on which the Government’s decision to support the IAG Offer was based. A further condition was clearance of the Offer by the European Commission under the EU Merger Regulation and the Commission announced its clearance of the proposed merger on Tuesday 14th July. In addition, the General Principles of the disposal of the State’s shares were approved by Dáil Éireann on 28th May.
Minister Donohoe said: ’Following the announcement of the European Commission’s decision, I asked the inter-Departmental Steering Group to examine the decision to confirm that there was no impact on the connectivity commitments that the Government had secured from IAG. The Steering Group has confirmed its view that the terms of the clearance are acceptable and that all the necessary conditions have now been met to enable the Minister for Finance, as the holder of the State’s 25.1% shareholding, to formally accept the Offer in line with the Government decision. I have written to Minister Noonan this afternoon indicating my support for acceptance of the Offer and we have agreed that Minister Noonan will lodge the necessary documentation this afternoon to formally accept the Offer’.
“As I outlined in my statement on 26th May, the Government’s decision to support IAG’s Offer was taken following very careful consideration of all of the issues involved. The Government believes that the IAG Offer provides the best means of securing Aer Lingus’ future and enabling it to develop and grow in the best interests of the company itself, its employees, the travelling public and the economy overall.
“Today is a landmark day in the history of Aer Lingus and of aviation in Ireland. Before the first closing date for the IAG Offer of 5pm today, the Minister for Finance will formally accept IAG’s Offer in respect of the State’s remaining shareholding of 25.1%. In my discussions with IAG, I secured important guarantees for the Government in respect of Ireland’s future connectivity, particularly to London Heathrow, and on the maintenance of Aer Lingus’ iconic brand and ensuring that Aer Lingus’ head office will remain in Ireland. These have now been given legal effect through the passing of the resolutions at this morning’s EGM.
“IAG has set out ambitious growth plans for the company under its ownership and I am excited at the prospects that this deal offers for Aer Lingus. I look forward to completion of the deal and to supporting Aer Lingus in its future development, which I am confident will see it continue to proudly and effectively serve Ireland, our people and our economy”.