Ryanair ordered to cut Aer Lingus stake

<p>Ryanair is only permitted to own five per cent of Aer Lingus.</p>

Ryanair has been ordered to sell off part of its shareholding in fellow airline Aer Lingus.

The Competition Commission (CC) announced that Ryanair will be made to reduce its stake in the company to five per cent. Ryanair currently owns 29.8 per cent of Aer Lingus.

It was noted by the body that this "will be accompanied by obligations on Ryanair not to seek or accept board representation or acquire further shares".

Simon Polito, CC deputy chairman and chairman of the Ryanair/Aer Lingus Inquiry Group, stated that Ryanair's 29.8 per cent stakeholding in Aer Lingus had resulted in a lessening of competition within airlines running routes between the UK and Ireland.

He said: "We consider that there is a tension between Ryanair's position as a competitor and its position as Aer Lingus's largest shareholder."

In early trade this morning (August 28th), the share price of Ryanair is down by more than five per cent. At 08:18 BST, its stocks had fallen in value by 5.07 per cent.

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