Flybe agrees £10m bridging loan with Virgin Atlantic-led consortium
A £10 million bridge loan to Flybe will be released today by the Virgin Atlantic-Stobart Group consortium seeking to buy the UK regional carrier. The funds are being made available “to support the business”. The development emerged this morning as it was revealed that a previously planned £20 million credit facility by the Connect Airways consortium could not be completed. Instead, Connect is to acquire the airline’s main trading company, its aviation services arm and digital company Flybe.com for £2.8 million. This compares to the original offer of £2.2 million. A revised loan of up to £20 million was also agreed “to provide funding to Flybe Limited, of which £10 million will be released today to support the business.
“In addition, a number of improved agreements with banks have also been reached today to improve liquidity,” Flybe said in an update on the takeover offer. “The board of Flybe believes that obtaining this revised facility from the consortium provides the security that the business needs to continue to trade successfully. “This preserves the interests of its stakeholders, customers, employees, partners and pension members.”
The consortium, which revealed its bid for Flybe on Friday, “has confirmed that its plans for the future of the Flybe business including the combination with Stobart Air remain as set out in the recommended offer including its commitment to provide £80 million of further funding”. Flybe, which has a fleet of 78 aircraft, put itself up for sale in November following a profit warning. It will be rebranded at Virgin Atlantic if the rescue bid is finalised. Flybe revealed yesterday that is was selling a series of take off and landing slot at Gatwick to Spanish budget carrier Vueling for £4.5 million.
News source:Travel Weekly