RYANAIR SAYS BA MOST LIKELY BUYER FOR AER LINGUS

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    British Airways appears to be the most likely buyer for the Irish government's 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus, the Irish airline's largest shareholder, Ryanair, said on Thursday.

    BA, which formed the International Airlines Group when it merged with Spain's Iberia last year, has not publicly expressed interest in buying the Aer Lingus stake.

    Low-cost airline Ryanair, which holds a 29 percent stake in its rival, said the British airline would, however, only buy Aer Lingus if the company's board made clear it was not liable for a EUR€400 million (USD$545 million) pension scheme deficit for Aer Lingus staff.

    Aer Lingus could increase its share value from its current 64 cents to 1 euro per share if it clarifies the pension issue and agrees to pay a 20 cent dividend, O'Leary told journalists at the company's annual shareholders' meeting in Dublin.

    He said any buyer would likely move to break up Aer Lingus.

    http://news.airwise.com/story/view/1317299145.html
     

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