Confidence waning in new Aer Lingus offer

Share price dipped below the €2.30 mark during the week

While things seem a little less certain now,  the airline remains in an offer period. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

While things seem a little less certain now, the airline remains in an offer period. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

Confidence in a third approach for Aer Lingus by International Consolidated Airlines’ Group (IAG) seems to be waning in some quarters.

The Irish airline’s share price hit a high of €2.50 a fortnight ago on the back of some fevered speculation sparked by a blog.

It has dropped from those highs and actually dipped below the €2.30 mark during the week, although it crept back up to €2.34 at close on Friday. All the same, the heat has appeared to have gone out of the situation, for now at least.

As it slid in price it was noted that a number of the transactions were small, indicating that some retail shareholders had decided it was time to sell their shares.

There was even a suggestion that current or former Aer Lingus staff, who had taken part in the company’s share ownership scheme, were selling out. It might be significant if they felt that a deal was no longer in the offing.

IAG made its first approach to Aer Lingus on December 14th and its second two weeks later, December 29th, the first Monday after Christmas. There has been complete radio silence since it issued a statement on Friday, January 9th, confirming the second indicative offer, which was €2.40 a share.

Most observers believed a third approach was likely at that point, and it is believed that the two sides were still talking.

Things seem a little less certain now, but the airline remains in an offer period.

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