A&L and Arthur Cox square up for airline battle

Irish giants A&L Goodbody and Arthur Cox are gearing up for a takeover battle following the rejection this afternoon (5 October) by the Aer Lingus board of rival airline Ryanair’s takeover bid.

A&L Goodbody has scooped a role advising longstanding client Ryanair. Arthur Cox, led by chairman Eugene McCague and corporate partner Brian O’Gorman, is acting for Aer Lingus. The latter firm also advised Aer Lingus on its London and Dublin stock exchanges debut last month (September).

Budget airline Ryanair announced a Eur1.48bn offer for Aer Lingus this morning and said it had acquired a 16 per cent stake in the Irish flag carrier. However, the Aer Lingus board unanimously rejected the takeover approach this afternoon.

Commenting on the offer Aer Lingus chairman John Sharman said in a statement:“This approach is unsolicited, wholly opportunistic and significantly undervalues the group’s businesses and attractive long term growth potential. In addition, the offer would raise significant regulatory issues as a result of Aer Lingus group’s strong position in its core markets.”