JetBlue In Talks To Buy Aer Lingus Stake

March 12, 2012

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US airline JetBlue has spoken to the management of Aer Lingus about the possible purchase of a stake in the Irish airline, the Irish Times newspaper reported on Monday, citing informed sources.

The Irish government has said it is considering selling its 25 percent stake in the airline as part of a privatisation drive required under its European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout.

The stake is valued at about EUR€115 million (USD$150 million) based on the Irish carrier's current market capitalisation of EUR€461 million.

The newspaper said JetBlue is the Aer Lingus management's preferred trade investor due to the similarities of the carriers' low-cost business models and the fact they do not compete on any routes.

The two airlines have operated a sales agreement since 2008.

(Reuters)