Tuesday, October 09 15:57:16
Ryanair today said that it had withdrawn from the Stansted sale process.
The Irish airline said it made the decision after it was advised by BAA Stansted's owner, Ferrovial, that it will exclude Ryanair (and any Ryanair related consortium) from the Stansted sale process.
Since Ryanair does not wish to prejudice other potential investors in Stansted, it has written to all investors/consortia it has held discussions with to advise them that Ryanair will not participate in the sale process or seek a minority stake.
Stansted was finally put on the block last month after a three-year legal fight by owner, BAA, which tried unsuccessfully to halt the forced sale of the airport demanded by the Competition Commission.
BAA's controlling shareholder, Ferrovial, is thought to have issued non-disclosure agreements last week to interested bidders, effectively kick-starting the process. The sale is being handled by Deutsche Bank and ING.
Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said that almost 70pc of Stansted's traffic comes from Ryanair.
"We regret Ferrovial's decision to exclude Ryanair from the Stansted sale process and the failure of the Competition Commission to restrain this anti-competitive and anti-customer behaviour by Ferrovial. While we fully accept that Ferrovial is entirely free not to sell to Ryanair, we fail to understand how it can comply with competition law if Stansted's biggest customer, accounting for 70pc of the traffic, is excluded from this sale process. This year's continuing traffic decline underlines the extraordinary damage done to Stansted airlines and passengers by the Ferrovial/BAA airport monopoly and we look forward to discussing cost reductions and traffic growth with the new owners of Stansted when it is finally sold. The only way Stansted's traffic decline can be reversed is if its uncompetitive charges are significantly reduced, initially by reversing the disastrous 100pc price increase imposed by the BAA monopoly at Stansted in 2007."