Thursday, October 05, 2006

Look up, it's … Ryanair

I just laughed when I heard this morning that Ryanair is making a play to buy Aer Lingus. How many years has Michael O'Leary been bad-mouthing Aer Lingus? Why didn't anyone anticipate this possibility? I'll admit I didn't, but it's not my job to analyze the possible implications of the privatization of a "vital national asset".

Let's face it, there'd be no competition in the Irish market if this sale actually went through. For that reason, I guess I'm opposed.

But, really, what a laugh. Aer Lingus Chairman John Sharman said that the Ryanair offer of €2.80 per share "undervalued the group's businesses and attractive long-term growth potential". This is a side-splitter. This guy's the government-appointed Chairman of a company that was valued at €2.20 per share when it was privatized last week! Come on - he should be relieved of duty right now for uttering such stupidity.

Obviously, the government didn't have a clue what their asset was worth. Reason #4538 why governments should not be involved in commercial activities.