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13 SEPTEMBER 2021
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Wizz Air is understood to be the unnamed bidder last Thursday for easyJet, Britain’s largest airline in terms of passenger numbers.
The offer was rejected unanimously by the Board and has been withdrawn.
The preliminary all-share offer was conditional and “fundamentally undervalued” the company, easyJet said in a statement without identifying the bidder.
The easyJet response has been to pursue a rights offer to raise £1.2bn in stock and debt as a buffer to recover from the devastating impact of Covid-19.
Wizz UK Ltd is part of Wizz Plc, registered on the London Stock Exchange.
The Wizz action comes at a time when its UK Managing Director, Owain Jones, moves within the company as Chief Supply Chain and Legal Officer, with Marion Geoffroy, becoming Managing Director. Geoffroy, who at one time held a high legal position at Air France/KLM, joined Wizz as Head of Legal and General Counsel before being appointed Chief Corporate Officer in 2018.
Wizz last week announced further route expansion from its main UK base at Luton Airport and is now also offering flights to Fuerteventura, Gibraltar and Vienna.
In the last three months both easyJet and Wizz carried the same number of passengers and flew to a similar number of destinations. Both operate Airbus A320 series aircraft with easyJet much the larger with 326 planes as against 142. EasyJet shares on Friday stood at 680p (down 3.87%), against a 1778p high in July 2018. Wizz at 4721p was also down 3.7% with a May 2021 peak of 5430p.
At the start of the pandemic easyJet employed 14,000 staff (now said to be around 10k) and Wizz Air 4,500, and says it is currently recruiting.
EasyJet Europe Airline GmbH, trading as easyJet, is a European low-cost airline founded in 2017 and based in Vienna (Austria).
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi was founded on 12 December 2019 as Wizz Air's UAE subsidiary.
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