Ryanair to distribute Aer Lingus sale proceeds to shareholders

Ryanair to distribute Aer Lingus sale proceeds to shareholders

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair is to distribute the 398 million euros (291.32 million pounds) it earned from the sale of its 30 percent stake in Aer Lingus to shareholders before the end of the year, the airline said on Thursday.

The company will distribute the funds via a B-share scheme which is subject to approval at an emergency general meeting, bringing the total funds returned by Ryanair to shareholders this year to 800 million euros.

Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan told reporters that shareholders would receive approximately 29.4 cents per share. The company will then carry out a 39 for 40 consolidation of shares to keep the share price stable.

He said the company decided to use the scheme rather than a more traditional share buyback or dividend to underline the fact that this is an exceptional event.

"We will have given back 1.3 billion euros to shareholders since January … profits are starting to rise & if an expectation gets out there that Ryanair is satisfactory for 1.3 billion a year in dividends, that is the wrong message to send," Sorahan said.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Clarke & David Holmes)

Source: “Reuters”