Ryanair, the low-cost Irish airline, is offering to “unconditionally” sell 29 percent of its shareholdings in Aer Lingus (LON:AERL), an Irish-based-carrier, to any other EU airline, the company said Tuesday.
Ryanair (NASDAQ:RYAAYP) said it was making the offer "to dispel the unfounded and invented concern that Ryanair’s shareholding may prevent Aer Lingus from being acquired by another EU airline.”
The company said that the move follows the UK Competition Commission’s conclusion that Ryanair has influence over Aer Lingus’ commercial strategy, which has resulted in a lessening of competition.
“This conclusion is flatly contradicted by six-and-a-half years of evidence, by the European Commission's findings in February 2013 that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has intensified,” Ryanair said in the statement.
The airline said it was willing to sell to any EU airline that makes an offer subject to approval from 50.1 percent of Aer Lingus’ shareholders.