Ryanair officials contradicted statements by Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjoern Kjos, denying that the Dublin-based carrier has ever approached the Norway-based LLC with a takeover offer.
Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjoern Kjos has been playing hard-to-get in the face of a rumored takeover effort by British Airways parent company IAG. This week, however, Ryanair officials declined to be cast as a potential suitor in the starkest of possible terms.
Kjos has in the past hinted that IAG has the inside track when it comes to purchasing the carrier; he has also coyly mentioned: “other interested parties” which could possibly outbid the international airline conglomerate. Analysts speculated that Kjos was simply doing his part to keep IAG on its toes and up the value of any eventual offer by IAG.
“So far it is airline groups but I cannot say who they are,” Kos cryptically told reporters in April. “They are taking a lot of interest in Norwegian.”
In the weeks since the Norwegian chief has indicated much more directly that IAG is not the only group interested in purchasing the carrier. The CEO recently named Ryanair as one of the parties to have expressed interest in purchasing Norwegian.
“I can confirm that Ryanair has shown interest in Norwegian Air and that I brought it up with the board,” Kjos told Reuters this week.
Ryanair officials appear to have had absolutely no interest in helping Kjos to leverage his position or to help him save face for that matter. The airline wasted very little time refuting claims that it had shown interest in purchasing the rival carrier and made a point to rub a bit of salt in the fresh wound for good measure.
“There is no truth to these claims,” a Ryanair spokesperson told the Irish Independent on Thursday. “Our CEO has repeatedly said we believe NAS will go bust as oil rises to $80 a barrel and we don’t catch falling knives.”