British infrastructure and support services firm Stobart Group is considering bidding as part of a consortium to acquire struggling regional carrier Flybe.
Shares in Flybe soared 26 percent on Thursday on the news to 43.5 pence by 1541 GMT, valuing the carrier at almost 105 million pounds.
“A number of potential structures have been considered including taking a non-controlling interest in a vehicle to acquire 100 percent of Flybe likely to be in cash,” Stobart said in a statement.
Reuters had reported earlier on Thursday that Stobart was in talks about a possible deal.
Flybe said it had not received an approach from Stobart about a possible offer and added: “Flybe shareholders are strongly advised to take no action at this stage.”
A spokesman for Stobart declined to identify possible partners in any bid for the airline.
Stobart is eyeing Flybe after the carrier was left vulnerable by a slump in its share price.
Shares traded at more than 90 pence in 2015 but had plunged to as low as 30.75 pence in December 2017, according to Thomson Reuters data, after the airline was hit by faltering demand for its flights.
In other news, Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has given its 650-strong pilot workforce a brand new look that complements the striking purple uniforms of its cabin crew.
The new navy uniform for its pilots features a stylishly fitted jacket with distinctive platinum epaulettes and stripes that clearly designate the rank of Captain (four stripes), Senior First Officer (three) and First Officer (two).
Designed with full crew participation, the brief was for it to be a quality, comfortable, user-friendly outfit to better reflect the airline’s forward looking image than the previous somewhat dated look. Flybe worked closely with PVM, another Exeter-based business which has been supplying the airline with uniforms for over 10 years, to design and source the new uniform.
The updated look was given its first proud airing at the home ground of the Exeter Chiefs rugby team and current English Premiership champions, of which Flybe is a long-standing sponsor. One of Flybe’s Exeter-based Senior First Officers pitched in and took flight in a line-out taken with three Chiefs’ players, England International Thomas Waldrom, Scotland International Moray Low and second row player Jonny Hill.
Copyright Photo (all others by Flybe): Flybe (British European 2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JEDU (msn 4089) AMS (Tony Storck). Image: 938065.
Flybe aircraft slide show: