Oct 17 (Reuters) - The Irish government has spoken to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and International Airlines Group (IAG) (ICAG.L) about the possibility of buying the state’s 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus AERL.I, state broadcaster RTE reported on Monday.
The Irish government said last month it was considering selling its stake in the airline as part of a privatisation drive required under its European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout. A government spokesman declined to comment on the RTE report, which did not cite any sources.
Etihad Chief Executive James Hogan met prime minister Enda Kenny in Dublin earlier this month and “they spoke about Etihad possibly buying the government’s 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus,” RTE said in the report.
“The government has had contact with the company which owns British Airways... about the possibility of selling its 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus,” the report said.
The Financial Times on Monday cited sources as saying that Etihad is looking at buying a stake in Aer Lingus. [ID:nL5E7LH20M]
Aer Lingus and Etihad declined to comment on the report.
A spokesman for the Irish transport ministry said “there has been considerable interest both from other airlines and from investors.” He declined to give any further details. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)