- Ryanair has reacted to Etihad's decision to acquire a 2.9% stake in Aer Lingus.

In a statement Ryanair's Michael O'Leary said: "Etihad's purchase of a 2.9% shareholding in Aer Lingus doesn't alter the future of Aer Lingus, which can only be decided when or if the Irish Government sells their 25% stake. If this is sold to Etihad or to a financial investor, then it is inevitable that Aer Lingus will be broken up and some or all of its Heathrow slots lost to Ireland.

"As our 7 Sept 2011 statement made clear, Ryanair will work with whomever the Government sells its 25% stake to (if it isn't sold to us), we would welcome any other financially strong airline/investor who acquires this stake, and who could then work with Ryanair and other shareholders to restore shareholder value, which has plunged by two thirds from over €3 to less than €1 per share currently under the existing Board."

At 11:27am: [LON:RYA] Ryanair Holdings PLC share price was +0.09p at 4.34p

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