Noonan may press AIB flotation button as early as next week

IPO decision ‘remains valid’ even after new finance minister appointed

The AIB flotation has long been flagged. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The AIB flotation has long been flagged. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, who said on Thursday he will step down in June, is preparing to press the start button as early as next week on the long-awaited flotation of AIB, which would mark his last major decision in office.

Sources said Mr Noonan will most likely give the go-ahead for the issuance of an intention to float (ITF) announcement for AIB before the next leader of Fine Gael is selected on June 2nd. It would take about four weeks to carry out the initial public offering (IPO) after the ITF announcement.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance said that the Government decision to float AIB “remains valid” even after a new minister is appointed, giving additional flexibility on timing.

Cabinet position

Mr Noonan said on Thursday that he does not wish to be considered for a cabinet position by the next taoiseach.

“The intention to sell a portion of AIB by IPO is provided for in the programme for a partnership Government which has been negotiated between Fine Gael and their partners in Government and has been endorsed by Fine Fail via the confidence and supply agreement,” the spokesman said.

“The Department of Finance has put in place all practical measures necessary to enable an IPO to proceed at the first available opportunity should market conditions make that a viable option.”