Belfast Telegraph

IAG extends deadline for £1bn Aer Lingus deal

By John Mulligan

British Airways owner IAG has been forced to extend the deadline for Aer Lingus shareholders to accept its £1bn offer to buy the Irish airline after Ryanair confirmed that it won't formally accept the deal until the middle of next month.

It emerged yesterday that Ryanair hadn't formally accepted the £1bn offer by IAG's deadline of 1pm.

It meant IAG, headed by Willie Walsh, was forced to extend the offer deadline to August. It will have updated the stock exchange this morning. IAG had previously extended the offer period to yesterday.

The delay in accepting the offer doesn't pose any threat to the takeover, however.

But it had been expected that Ryanair, which owns 29.8% of Aer Lingus, would have met yesterday's deadline, allowing Aer Lingus shareholders to start receiving their cheques from IAG within a couple of weeks.

It now means those shareholders will have to wait until the end of August or start of September for their windfalls to land through their letterboxes.

IAG needs 90pc of acceptances in relation to Aer Lingus shares before it can compulsorily acquire the remainder.

Belfast Telegraph