To ask the Minister for Transport the amount which is expected to be raised by the proposed privatisation of Aer Lingus; and if this will meet the expected pension shortfall for Aer Lingus employees.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 23rd May, 2006.
Ref No: 19145/06 Proof: 254
Transferred (from) Finance -- 23/05/2006 -- Question No 591 (Written)
Answered by the Minister for Transport
At this stage in the IPO process I am not in a position to comment on the proceeds that the Government or Aer Lingus may receive. We will not know this information until much nearer the end of the process when the number of shares to be sold and the price at which those shares will be sold will be agreed.
In the context of the planned IPO, I have said that the Minister for Finance and I are open to considering the question of the company using part of the proceeds from issuing new shares to address the funding position in the companys pension scheme in the context of an overall solution involving increased employer and employee contributions going forward. I have mandated Aer Lingus management to engage with the trade unions to address the key concerns of staff in relation to a third party investment, including pensions and that process is currently underway.