One More Thing: The Ryan family fortune soars ever higher and higher
It looks like the Ryan family is going to do it yet again.
VivaAerobus, the Mexican low-cost airline in which the Ryanair founders have a stake, is inching closer to a stock market listing and another chunky payday for the family that founded Ryanair.
A report by Bloomberg this week appeared to confirm earlier whisperings from during summer: that VivaAerobus has hired Barclays to advise it on the flotation, “according to three people familiar with the matter”.
That means something like “from the horse’s mouth” in the Bloomish language.
The Ryans co-own about half of the airline with another private investor, with the remainder owned by IAMSA, the Mexican bus company.
It operates a small fleet of about 15 aircraft, inspired by the Ryanair school of no-frills flying.
The airline is apparently planning a major regional expansion, hence the float to raise some dough. It seems conceivable, however, that the canny Declan Ryan could push to take some money off the table for the family.
Reports during the summer suggested the IPO would raise more than €100 million, so it’s not Facebook. It is also unclear whether the Ryans will retain a stake post-flotation. But whatever they clear from the transaction, it is unlikely to be chump change.
A decade ago everybody in Mexico took the bus. With the advent of low-cost carriers and the increasing affluence of the Mexican middle class, many now take the plane. It is a classic Ryan market, and flotations are all the rage among Mexican airlines at the moment.
Volaris, the third biggest carrier, listed some $350 million of notes on the stock exchange in New York recently, following market leader Grupo Aeromexico. With Declan Ryan calling the shots – his father Tony was, of course, a giant of Irish aviation – family members have done very nicely indeed from the export of the Ryanair model around the globe. They made tidy sums from the flotations of Allegiant Airways in the US and Tiger Airways in Singapore.
Some people have (make?) all the luck.