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Ryanair vows to keep on fighting for Aer Lingus stake

By John Mulligan

Ryanair has vowed to keep fighting against a decision by a UK watchdog to force it to sell most of its near 30% stake in Aer Lingus.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) yesterday said it has provisionally upheld a 2013 ruling it made ordering Ryanair to cut its stake in Aer Lingus to no more than 5%.

The CMA's predecessor made the 2013 order on foot of competition concerns, and also because it believed that Ryanair's presence as a significant minority shareholder in Aer Lingus might put other airlines off making a takeover bid for the smaller airline.

In February, the UK Court of Appeal upheld the CMA decision, but last month Ryanair asked the competition authority to reassess its 2013 order because, the airline claimed, there had been a material change in circumstances in that IAG had made a takeover approach for Aer Lingus.

Ryanair claimed IAG's bid negated a core plank of the CMA reasoning. Ryanair criticised the decision as "manifestly wrong" and said it will try to reverse the UK Court of Appeal decision at the UK Supreme Court.

Belfast Telegraph


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