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flybe shareholders up in arms over Connect Airways deal

London-based private equity firm and key Flybe Group shareholder Hosking Partners could thwart a planned takeover of the UK regional carrier by the Connect Airways consortium, Sky News has reported.

On January 11, Flybe Group said Connect Airways, whose shareholders include Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group, and another private equity firm - Cyrus Capital, had submitted an offer to acquire all Flybe's shares for approximately GBP2.2 million pounds (USD2.83 million) and to extend a bridging loan to the airline for GBP20 million (USD25.75 million). The offer had valued each of the airline's 216,656,776 shares at GBP0.01 per share, far below that of its trading value.

However, on January 15, Flybe said that as it had been unable to meet the conditions for the loan, it had accepted a restructured offer wherein Connect Airways would simply acquire flybe. (BE, Exeter) (including Flybe Aviation Services Ltd) and the digital company Flybe.com Ltd for GBP2.8 million (USD3.61 million). Flybe's decision to move from a premium to a standard listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on January 17...

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