But Aer Lingus said before it formally recommends the offer, IAG must “address the interests of relevant parties”; namely Ryanair who own a 29.8 per cent share of the company and the Irish government who owns 25.1 per cent.
The Irish cabinet is due to hold its weekly meeting on Tuesday, where the IAG offer is expected to be discussed.
IAG’s primary interest in the airline is its attractive 23 pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow airport, which are valued at about £30 million each, which would allow it to operate more flights.
Ireland’s Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan told reporters – at the launch of the country’s new passport card – that the Government did have some strategic concerns but expected to be briefed by Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe at its weekly Cabinet meeting.
In their statement Aer Lingus said: “The board has indicated to IAG that the financial terms are at a level at which it would be willing to recommend [the offer] subject to being satisfied with the manner in which IAG proposes to address the interests of relevant parties”.
The bid comprised an all cash offer of €2.50 per share and a cash dividend of 5 cent per share and that it remained conditional on the recommendation of the board and receipt of irrevocable commitments from Ryanair and the Government, its two largest shareholders.
The bid values Aer Lingus at just over a billion pounds(€1.3 billion).
Trade unions SIPTU and IMPACT said between 1,000 and 1,200 jobs could be lost.
IMPACT said most of Aer Lingus’s 3,900 employees are based in north Dublin in those jobs most likely to be shed:ground staff, IT, back room and maintenance.
BA parent company IAG roles would be unlikely to want to duplicate the substantial resources it already has for those functions in London and Madrid.
Since December, the Irish airline has rejected separate bids of €2.40 and €2.30 per share.
IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh was boss of Aer Lingus between 2001 and 2005, before he took over at British Airways.