Stobart Group withdraws interest in Flybe acquisition

Stobart Group withdraws interest in Flybe acquisition

Stobart Group has been unable to reach satisfactory terms for the takeover off Flybe, ending a potential deal between the two.

Speculation last month had led Stobart to confirm its interest in a potential takeover of the regional carrier.

However, a statement today confirmed: “The board of Stobart Group has determined that it is not in its shareholders’ best interests to increase its latest proposal for Flybe above the level which was rejected by the board of Flybe.

“Given this, Stobart Group confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Flybe.”

Stobart Group and Flybe enjoy a range of shared interests as well as a growing franchise arrangement between the two groups’ airlines and it is Stobart Group’s intention to continue the collaborative working relationship between both companies.

Flybe currently operates 211 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.

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Flybe operates a fleet of 81 aircraft – 56 Bombardier Q400, 9 Embraer E195, 11 E175 and five ATR 72s.

In response to the development, Flybe said it had noted that Stobart Group was withdrawing its approach regarding a possible offer.

A Flybe statement added: “The board remains highly confident in the prospects of Flybe and believes that the group continues to have an exciting future as an independent company, delivering the Sustainable Business Improvement Plan as set out in June 2017. 

“This plan is focused on driving sustainable profit and cash generation and will see the fleet size reduce to an optimum level for the number of identified profitable routes and make the business demand-driven rather than capacity-led.”