Ryanair acquires remaining quarter of Austria’s Laudamotion

Company plans to grow Austrian subsidiary to 7.5m passengers by 2021

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary declined to disclose the price  paid for Laudamotion. Photograph: Helmut Fohringer/AFP

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary declined to disclose the price paid for Laudamotion. Photograph: Helmut Fohringer/AFP

 

Ryanair has acquired the remaining quarter of its Austrian unit Laudamotion for an undisclosed price, it said on Tuesday.

Europe’s largest budget carrier previously owned a 75 per cent stake in Laudamotion. Former Formula One racing champion Niki Lauda, who last year bought back and rebranded the airline he founded, had given Ryanair the option to buy the whole carrier.

“Laudamotion is now a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Ryanair Holdings plc,” Laudamotion said in a statement. It detailed plans to grow rapidly in the coming years, to 7.5 million passengers and 30 aircraft in 2021 from four million passengers and 19 aircraft this year.

At a news conference at Vienna’s main airport, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary declined to disclose the price his company paid for Laudamotion. In March it said it would pay below €50 million for 75 per cent.

The deal for the last stake was completed on December 31st but had nothing to do with Mr Lauda’s brief return to hospital shortly afterwards, Mr O’Leary said. Mr Lauda will stay on as chairman of Laudamotion’s board.

“Niki has great experience in the airline industry, particularly in the airline industry in Germany and in Austria, ” Mr O’Leary said when asked about Mr Lauda’s role. “He knows all the players. When we were buying it [Laudamotion], he had access to the various ministers in Austria, which we didn’t have.”

Separately on Tuesday, Ryanair’s Spanish cabin crew voted by a majority for a recognition agreement. Some 99 per cent of the Spanish cabin crew voted in favour of an agreement with unions SITCPLA and USO to cover all of Ryanair’s directly employed cabin crew in Spain.

Both the airline and the unions intend to conclude a collective labour agreement before April 30th. – Reuters