Flybe puts itself up for sale in tough market

Flybe puts itself up for sale in tough market

The board of Flybe Group has begun a “comprehensive review” of the company’s strategic options as it looks to overcome the current challenges facing the airline industry.

Options include a sale of the group, which has seen it share price lose 75 per cent of its value since issuing a profit warning last month.

Flybe said other options include further capacity and cost saving measures as well as initiatives to strengthen the balance sheet and preserve cash resources.

The board has appointed Evercore as its financial adviser to assist it with this review.

Stobart Group earlier this year withdrew from a potential deal to buy Flybe after terms could not be struck.

ADVERTISEMENT

At the same time, the carrier has seen losses mount as it continues to make cuts to its fleet and services.

“It is currently expected that any party interested in participating in the formal sale process will, at the appropriate time, enter into a non-disclosure agreement with Flybe on terms satisfactory to the board of Flybe,” the carrier said in a statement.

“The company then intends to provide such interested parties with certain information on the business, following which interested parties will be invited to submit their proposals to Evercore.”

Further announcements regarding timings for the formal sale process will be made as appropriate, Flybe said.

Flybe added that it is already in discussions with a number of strategic operators about a potential sale.

The carrier is Europe’s largest regional airline and flies more UK domestic flights than any other.

Flybe currently operates 204 routes serving 15 countries from 80 departure points in the UK and Europe and is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at Aberdeen, Belfast City, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Isle of Man, Jersey, Newquay and Southampton airports.

The airline operates a fleet of 78 aircraft - 54 Bombardier Q400, eight Embraer E195, 11 E175 and five ATR 72s.