Aer Lingus Group lodged a formal appeal with the EU Court of First Instance in Luxembourg as part of what it called “the legal process towards removing Ryanair from its shareholder register.”
Last month the European Commission said it does not have the legal authority to order Ryanair to sell off or reduce its shareholding in EI because it holds only a minority stake and does not have effective control. Aer Lingus, however, believes the merger regulation does give the EC that power, as the stake was part of the original takeover attempt that the regulatory body prohibited.
Aer Lingus also asked the court, “as a matter of urgency, to make an order to prevent Ryanair from interfering in the running of Aer Lingus’ business pending judgment.”
Ryanair dismissed the EI announcement. “The European Commission has already confirmed that since Ryanair has neither de facto nor de jure control over Aer Lingus, there are no legal grounds for such a compulsory disposal,” it said in a statement. The LCC currently holds 29.4% of its smaller rival.