ATW Online; Friday 11 January 2019
Virgin-led consortium acquires Flybe in $2.8 million takeover deal

UK regional carrier Flybe will be rebranded as Virgin Atlantic under a £2.2 million ($2.81 million) takeover deal announced Jan. 11 by a consortium comprising Virgin Atlantic Ltd., Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital.

Exeter-based Flybe said in November that it was seeking a buyer. The airline had run into financial difficulty as a result of high fuel costs, currency fluctuations and the uncertainty surrounding the UK's planned exit from the European Union. Virgin Atlantic confirmed later that month that it was in talks about a possible deal.

In a joint statement, Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital said they had formed a new company - Connect Airways - through which they had reached an agreement with Flybe’s board to make a cash offer for the entire share capital of Flybe.

Stobart Group, the parent company of Ireland-registered aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) and charter operator Stobart Air, will fold its airline and aircraft leasing businesses into Connect Airways. The three companies have committed to provide a £20 million bridge loan facility, “to support Flybe’s ongoing working capital and operational requirements.”

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By: Kerry Reals
NS Comment: Arrangement looks brilliant. Hope it works out well for all concerned.