Flybe rescue deal at risk as Virgin and Stobart insert ‘Brexit clause’ 

The rescue deal for struggling airline Flybe could be called off because of Brexit.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the consortium of buyers, which includes Virgin Atlantic, has inserted a ‘Brexit clause’ into the takeover agreement.

It states that the £2.2million deal is conditional on Flybe obtaining new operating licences and authorisations if they are lost as a result of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Discount: The airline fetched just £2.2million

Discount: The airline fetched just £2.2million

Discount: The airline fetched just £2.2million

Sources close to the deal say this would be an unlikely turn of events but that lawyers had insisted upon the ‘Brexit clause’ being inserted into the agreement. 

Exeter-based Flybe put itself up for sale in November and immediately attracted interest from Virgin Atlantic.

Two days ago Flybe said it had agreed a £2.2million takeover deal – valuing each of its shares at 1p – with Connect Airways, a consortium made up of Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group.

Flybe flew into trouble late last year and issued a profit warning in October, blaming poor consumer demand, a weaker pound and higher fuel costs.

The airline’s share price, which had risen in recent weeks to above 16p, fell 77 per cent to 3.75 p after the 1p-per-share deal was announced.

Flybe is led by Christine Ourmières-Widener, a French businesswoman who took the helm of the airline in January 2017.

Founded in 1979, it transports around 8million passengers between 81 airports across the UK and Europe.


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