October 05, 2015
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, a leading counselor to global corporations and financial institutions, is pleased to announce that Ryanair has abandoned its last remaining litigation relating to Cadwalader client Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus recently closed its merger with International Airlines Group.
Alec Burnside, Cadwalader antitrust partner and counsel to Aer Lingus, said: “It has been a privilege to assist Aer Lingus in this extraordinary odyssey. In an epic battle lasting nearly a decade, and testing the limits of EU and UK merger review, I was proud to serve as advisor from inception to resolution.”
Over the period Aer Lingus has been party to no fewer than 16 decisions from the EU and UK competition agencies, and 14 judgments from European and UK courts.
The multi-year hostile takeover campaign by Ryanair began in 2006. Since then, Alec Burnside and his team have assisted Aer Lingus in ways large and small:
Ryanair then sold its shares to IAG, and has in the last few days finally thrown the towel in on its two remaining litigations - against the 2013 European prohibition decision, and against the UK’s 2015 sell-down Order.
“This marks a definitive end to a monumental legal battle that repeatedly stretched the boundaries of both EU and UK merger control law, throwing up untested issues as to the interplay between EU-level and national competition regimes,” Burnside said. “The European Commission is now considering whether to extend EU law to cover minority shareholdings: in this case the UK authorities acted where the European Commission lacked the power to do so.”
The Cadwalader team was led by Burnside, a leading EU law specialist with three decades of experience in advising on major multinational transactions. Cadwalader’s team for Aer Lingus in Brussels and Washington D.C. included Andrew J. Forman (Partner), and associates Marjolein De Backer, Christian Lorenz, Evan Flowers, William Dolan and Ngoc Pham Hulbig. Cadwalader was awarded the “Merger Control Matter of the Year – Europe” 2014 by Global Competition Review for staving off Ryanair’s third hostile bid and obtaining a decision by the UK Competition authority that Ryanair must sell-down its stake in Aer Lingus.
Click here for “Aer Lingus v. Ryanair, 2006-2015: the nine-year antitrust dogfight,” an infographic highlighting the key moments among 30 decisions and judgments, involving ten different competition authorities and courts.
Click here for an infographic focused on the astonishing 29-hour period in July 2015 when Cadwalader secured the rulings giving Aer Lingus freedom from Ryanair.
Media are authorized to use and reproduce these infographics.
About Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus is headquartered at Dublin Airport, Ireland. Aer Lingus operates a modern fleet of 48 Airbus aircraft and three Boeing 757s. It carried over 11.1 million passengers on mainline and regional franchise services in 2014.
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