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Ryanair extends offer period for Aer Lingus bid

Irish airline Ryanair said it had extended the offer period to Aer Lingus shareholders in its €750 million ($1.04 billion) takeover bid for its rival.

The low-cost carrier had set a closing date of January 5 but said on Tuesday the period had been extended to February 13.

Ryanair, which owns 29.82% of Aer Lingus, said by January 5 it had received acceptances totaling 29.83% of the shares in Aer Lingus, including its own stake.

It has offered €1.40 a share for the former state airline, just half the price of a previous offer in 2006 which was blocked by the European Commission on competition grounds.

The board of Aer Lingus has vowed to fight the new approach, with the airline's workers, which control a 14% stake, concerned over job prospects in spite of assurances by Ryanair. (Reuters)