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Reject Ryanair bid -- Aer Lingus

AER Lingus has urged shareholders to reject Ryanair's takeover offer, after the budget airline made a formal €694m bid for the Irish carrier yesterday.

But analysts say that there is little, if any, confidence that the deal will go ahead and Aer Lingus's share price barely moved on the back of yesterday's statement.

This morning, the board pointed out that Ryanair's previous offer in 2006 was prohibited by the European Commission.

And the board said that it believes that "the reasons for prohibition are now even stronger than before: the number of routes that Ryanair would monopolise has sharply increased".

Aer Lingus's board said that it received legal advice that the European Commission is likely once more to prohibit the Ryanair offer and that the UK Competition Commission is continuing to investigate the effects of Ryanair's 29.82pc stake in Aer Lingus.