Etihad Airlines increases its stake in Aer Lingus to over 4%
Etihad Airlines has increased its stake in Aer Lingus to just over 4% prompting rumours that the Abu Dhabi-based airline may have its sights firmly set on the Governments 25% stake in the airline. Etihad increased its share holding position in Aer Lingus from 2.98% to 4.11% in a series of share purchases earlier in March.
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has recently indicated that he does not favour selling the Government’s stake at the present time as conditions were not right for the sale. A spokesman for Etihad Airlines said “Etihad Airways’s stake in Aer Lingus now exceeds 4 per cent following the acquisition last week of further shares on the open market.”
This would indicate that if the Irish Governments stake in Aer Lingus did not come up for sale that Etihad would more than likely consider buying Ryanair’s near 30% stake in Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller said that Aer Lingus would be better served by having a mix of smaller investors rather than a few large-scale owners.