Flybe Announces Floatation

UK LOW-FARE carrier Flybe is to float on the London stock exchange after confirming its plans to proceed with an Initial Public Offering (IPO), creating approximately £60 million of new shares.  The Exeter-based airline said it will use around half of the proceeds from the offer to help fund its fleet expansion programme and the other half to strengthen its cash position and provide capital for acquisitions or other strategic pursuits.  This includes the development of possible of codeshare partnerships, strategic arrangements with other European airlines and targeted acquisitions should such opportunities present themselves.
“The Company has come a long way in a short time, from its origins as a provincial carrier to being one of Europe’s leading regional airlines.  A listing will assist Flybe in achieving the next stage in its exciting strategy for growth,” said Jim French, the carrier’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Mark Chown, Deputy Chairman of Rosedale Aviation Holdings, Flybe’s largest shareholder, said the carrier has: “a proven and resilient business model” with a management “capable of realising significant future growth opportunities”.  This viewpoint has been supported by fellow shareholder British Airways (BA), which has confirmed that it will participate in the IPO to maintain its 15% shareholding in the carrier.  This was acquired when Flybe purchased BA’s regional subsidiary BA Connect in March 2007.