It wasn’t meant to happen like this. Just over a week after privatisation, Ryanair’s hostile €1.4 billion bid for Aer Lingus was welcomed about as warmly among government ministers as an offer to speak at a private function in Manchester.
The state’s two shareholders, Martin Cullen, the Minister for Transport and Brian Cowen, Minister for Finance, were swift in declaring that the company was not for sale - but extracting the thorn in their side that is Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary could take a deal longer.
For all his machinations, the sometimes erratic O ’Leary has always placed an unremitting logic at the heart of Ryanair’s creed. Like Margaret Thatcher, O’Leary believes...
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