26 FEBRUARY 2018
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Speculation last week on the future of Flybe reached a peak on Friday when the Stobart Group, which owns Stobart Air, Southend Airport and Carlisle Lake District Airport among other activities, confirmed an interest in acquiring all or part of the carrier.
Shares in Flybe rose 36% to 47p but the company said shareholders should take no action “at this stage”. It added: “There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made.”
A Stobart statement said: “As previously disclosed in October 2017, we have been reviewing alternative structures for our airline and leasing business that can play an important part in the consolidation of the regional airline sector.
“A number of potential structures have been considered including taking a non-controlling interest in a vehicle to acquire 100% of Flybe likely to be in cash.”
The statement added it was not possible to say at this stage whether a deal would take place or the form “a transaction to combine the airlines might take”.
Stobart said a further announcement would be made in due course, with stock exchange rules dictating a decision must be made by 22 March.
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