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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

Flybe take-over ‘to be completed in February’

Flybe Bombardier Q400

Flybe has issued an update on the sale process that will see it taken over by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group, claiming the deal is due to be completed next month.

A consortium made up of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital Partners, called Connect Airways, has agreed to purchase Flybe’s main trading company and flybe.com for £2.8 million – about £600,000 more than the initial offer of £2.2 million made on 11 January.

The original deal included a credit facility of up to £20 million provided by the consortium, but Flybe failed to meet the conditions of the loan and the offer was revised to include funding of £20 million to keep the regional carrier solvent, £10 million of which was released to the company on 15 January.

Flybe has also agreed to sell some of its take-off and landing slots at Gatwick airport to IAG-owned Vueling for £4.5 million.

Now, Flybe says the deal is now expected to be completed on 22 February – the long stop date for the divestment.

Furthermore, Flybe’s announcement reveals that shareholders will not be able to vote on the initial sale, but only on the 1p-per-share offer made by Connect Airways.

However, Flybe shareholder Hosking Partners, which owns a 19 per cent stake in the airline, has reportedly threatened legal action against the sale, accusing its directors of failing to inform the City of its financial position quickly enough before putting itself on the market.

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