Ireland backs sale of Aer Lingus shares to IAG

Irish government changes its stance over sale of 25% stake
The Irish government has changed its stance over the sale of a 25% stake in Aer Lingus to IAG, putting its support behind a deal.
After several approaches, IAG, the owner of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, proposed a €1.36 billion offer in January. But a deal is still conditional on getting support from the Irish airline’s other main shareholder, Ryanair.
“There’s a number of extremely important changes that have led to this decision by the government today,” Paschal Donohoe said at a news conference.
The government told IAG that before it could consider a sale it wanted assurances on areas such as job cuts, transatlantic services and longer guarantees on routes between Ireland and London Heathrow, BA’s hub where Aer Lingus holds valuable slots.
“Acquiring Aer Lingus would add a fourth competitive, cost-effective airline to IAG, enabling us to develop our network using Dublin,” IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said.