11 FEBRUARY 2019

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Shareholder unrest at Flybe deal

Moves to sell core assets from the Flybe group including the airline and the website to the Connect Airways consortium by 22 February could be derailed by shareholder discontent at the 1p per share offer, say reports.

The core assets deal does not need shareholder approval but the blanket disposal of the Flybe brand to Connect at a stated price of £2.8m will be on the agenda at a scheduled 4 March meeting of investors, who may try to intervene beforehand.

Flybe responded last week by warning shareholders it will be wound up if they do not accept the terms of the acquisition proposed by Connect, which includes Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and US private equity firm Cyrus Capital.

Flybe described the Connect offer of 1p per share as “disappointingly low” but said it was the only rescue plan on the table.  Investors have threatened legal action over the board’s move to accept the bid, while majority shareholder Hosking Partners is also seeking to replace Flybe chairman Simon Laffin with airline industry veteran Eric Kohn (BTN 28 January).

Meanwhile, Flybe CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener told The Independent last week Flybe was “here to stay” adding: “We will welcome you in the future. Fly Flybe and we’ll be there in 40 years.”

www.flybe.com  www.virginatlantic.com  www.stobartgroup.com

www.cyruscapital.com   www.hoskingpartners.com

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