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26 - Feb - 2019

Connect Airways Concludes Purchase of Flybe

A consortium of airlines including Virgin Atlantic Airways, Stobart Air, and Cyprus Capital has completed the purchase of troubled UK-based airline Flybe.

The consortium, which calls itself Connect Airways, closed the £2.8 million ($3.2 million) deal for Flybe’s assets and operations.

The airline put itself up for sale last November after profits dropped due to weak consumer demand, higher fuel costs and a weak currency.

The consortium was formed in December with the purpose of purchasing the airline.

Flybe rejected a proposal by its shareholders to sell its assets to Bateleur Capital and Mesa Air Group terming the offer “highly conditional”. Mesa Air Group had offered to inject £65m in equity at an effective price of 4.5p per share, which is way over the 1p deal with Connect Airways. This has left many shareholders wondering why Bateleur Capital and Mesa Air Group’s proposal was rejected

The deal however remains subject to shareholder approval. Shareholders will vote on the matter on 4 March.

In a statement, Flybe said: “The board does not believe that the indicative proposal is executable in the timeframe required to enable Flybe to continue to trade.

“Accordingly, the board emphasises to shareholders that it continues to regard the arrangements entered with Connect Airways as being the only viable option available to the company, which provides the security that the business needs to continue to trade successfully.

“The arrangements with Connect Airways preserve the interests of Flybe’s stakeholders, customers, employees, partners and pension members.”

The deal marks the end of Flybe brand as Connect Airways said that “in due course Flybe will be rebranded to Virgin Atlantic”.

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