Last week’s surprise offer from Ryanair for all the shares in Aer Lingus generated many column inches in newspapers and much national discourse. The €694m valuation of Aer Lingus derived from the €1.30 a share offer, would have valued the State’s 25% stake at about €175m. And because the State’s stake in Aer Lingus is slated for disposal anyway, there has been much talk about the price. Last week, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, when asked about the value of the State’s stake, referred reporters at a press conference to a reply given by his colleague Minister Noonan the previous week, when he said you don’t show your negotiating hand in advance, and have you never sold a calf at the Fair of Glen. Alongside our stake in Aer Lingus, you can also expect much discussion over the coming months with the disposal of stakes in Bord Gais Energy and parts of the ESB. All told, the plan is to raise €2-3bn in the disposal of stakes in State companies.
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