26 MARCH 2018
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Further to “Stobart bid for Flybe” in BTN 26 February, the Stobart Group announced last Thursday it does not plan to make a formal offer for the Exeter-based regional carrier. An airline operator in its own right, and the owner of Southend Airport, Stobart said it was unable to reach agreement “on satisfactory terms” with Flybe. See also COMMENT.
Thursday’s news sent shares in Flybe tumbling 25% back to the levels before the bid, that is around 34p, its lowest ever, with a capitalisation of just £76m. “The board of Stobart Group has determined that it is not in its shareholders’ best interests to increase its latest proposal for Flybe above the level which was rejected by the board of Flybe,” Stobart said.
Stobart Group noted that it and Flybe enjoy a range of shared interests and intended to continue the collaborative working relationship between both companies.
Flybe said that it wants to reduce its fleet size in order to make the business demand-driven rather than capacity-led. Flybe carries 8m passengers a year between 81 airports throughout the UK and Europe, with more than 210 routes across 15 countries. It currently operates five ATR 72-600, 53 Bombardier Q400 and 20 Embraer e-jets.
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