Ryanair Holdings PLC chief executive Michael O'Leary ruled out raising the price his airline is offering for Aer Lingus to €2 per share or more, saying: “We are not stupid people and will not pay stupid prices.”
“While no decision has been made in relation to any change in the terms of our merger offer, we have no intention of increasing our offer to a price of €2 or above,” he told a seat sale press conference this morning.
“The market valued Aer Lingus shares at less than €1 before our offer and I believe that if our offer is not successful by 13 February 2009, the Aer Lingus share price will return to these pre-offer levels,” O’Leary added.
Aer Lingus shares were trading around the €1.55 mark today.
Ryanair said earlier today it would be willing to raise its current €1.40 per share offer for Aer Lingus but would not wage a prolonged battle if shareholders in Ireland's former state airline continued to oppose the deal.
Ryanair advisers are seeking an early meeting with the Minister for Transport's advisers, IBI, to emphasise that a decision must be made on Ryanair's offer within the next three weeks, O’Leary said in Dublin.