As part of its attempt to persuade the European Commission to approve its takeover proposal, Ryanair has offered Flybe €100 million in cash to set up an operation in Ireland that could take over 43 routes from Aer Lingus.
The routes in question are expected to generate a profit of €20 million for Flybe, according to Ryanair’s submission. Flybe confirmed it had accepted Ryanair’s offer in principle in a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange this morning.
The statement said: “Flybe confirms that it has reached an agreement in principle with Ryanair about the possible transfer of a number of aircraft and operating routes as part of a package of concessions Ryanair has submitted to the European Commission.
“The agreement provides for a new company to be incorporated into which the relevant business assets (including cash of €100 million) and liabilities would be transferred and which Flybe would then acquire.
“The agreement has not been approved by the Board of Flybe. It would also be subject to Flybe shareholder approval.
“The implementation of any agreement would be dependent, inter alia, on the status of Ryanair’s offer for Aer Lingus; the outcome of the Commission’s deliberations on the competition aspects of Ryanair’s bid; and the agreement of a timetable for the implementation of the proposed remedies.”
Ryanair has also withdrawn a proposal that British Airways would take over Aer Lingus’s London Heathrow slots. Instead, BA has agreed to take from Ryanair and Aer Lingus their London Gatwick slots for flights to Dublin, Cork and Shannon, according to the Irish Times.
The EC will announce its decision on Ryanair’s latest proposal by 6th March 2013.