This link skips through to the page content, for screen readersDepartment of Transport logoAviation
2005
Present position regarding proposed privatisation of Aer Lingus
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2 December 2005

To ask the Minister for Transport the position regarding the situation at Aer Lingus.

- Finian McGrath.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 24th November, 2005.

Ref No:   30219/05

Transferred (from)  Taoiseach -- 25/10/2005 -- Question No 221 (Oral (Taois.))

To ask the Minister for Transport when he proposes to complete the sale of Aer Lingus.

- Eamon Gilmore. (Nominated by: Róisín Shortall).

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 24th November, 2005.

Ref No:   35973/05     Lottery:   34

To ask the Minister for Transport if he supports the view expressed by Aer Lingus' CEO that the partial sale of a share in Aer Lingus must take place at least by the third-quarter of 2006; if he is working toward such a deadline and will achieve same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Bernard Allen. (Nominated by: Olivia Mitchell).

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 24th November, 2005.

Ref No:   36009/05     Lottery:   68

To ask the Minister for Transport the position in relation to the future of Aer Lingus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Bernard J. Durkan.

*    For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 24th November, 2005.

Ref No:   36246/05

Answered by Minister for Transport

(Martin Cullen)

REPLY

I propose to take Question Nos 20, 32, 57 and 178 together. 

As the Deputies will be aware, in its decision of 18 May the Government agreed to the State disposing of a majority shareholding in Aer Lingus and retaining a stake of at least 25% to protect strategic interests provided that both myself and the Minister for Finance are satisfied that this level of disposal is warranted on foot of the analysis prepared by the Departments advisers for the transaction.

Following a competitive tender process, UBS and AIB Capital Markets were appointed to provide financial advice and assistance to both myself and the Minister for Finance in relation to an Aer Lingus sale/investment transaction.  William Fry Solicitors and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer were appointed as legal advisors for the assignment. 

Work on Phase 1 of the assignment is currently at an advanced stage and is expected to be completed in December 2005.  This Phase involves recommending the most appropriate transaction mechanism, including advice on its size, type and timing which will then be considered by myself and the Minister for Finance. 

Phase 2 of the advisors assignment will involve the execution of the chosen transaction. 

For its part, in accordance with the Government decision of 18 May, Aer Lingus is currently preparing a plan for future growth on the basis that additional equity capital will be available within a reasonable timescale.  The Company has appointed Goldman Sachs and Merrion Capital as financial advisors to provide advice and assistance in the context of the investment process.

Specifically in relation to timing, and subject to the views and recommendations put forward by the advisors, I recognize the need for an early completion of a transaction to support Aer Lingus new plan for growth and in the context of a move to Open Skies.