DUBLIN, Feb 12 (Reuters) - British Airways owner IAG is “nowhere near” walking away from its bid to buy Irish airline Aer Lingus, despite political opposition to the deal, chief executive Willie Walsh said in an interview published on Thursday.
Aer Lingus shares are trading 14 percent below the IAG offer price of 2.55 euros per share, as opposition from trade unions and Irish politicians raises concerns that the government may refuse to sell its 25 percent stake.
The agreement of the Irish government to sell its stake is a condition of the Aer Lingus board backing the 1.36 billion euro ($1.5 billion) IAG offer.
“This is a deal that we want to do,” Walsh told the Irish Times, one of a series of interviews with Irish media as part of an apparent charm offensive to win support in Ireland. IAG is “nowhere near” the point at which it would consider walking away, he said. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Holmes)