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Thursday, October 17, 2019

George Soros invests in Flybe


Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010
Author: Graham Ruddick, The Telegraph

George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund manager, has emerged as a significant new investor in Flybe, the British low-cost airline, following its flotation.

The financier, famous for betting against the pound in the 1992 fiscal crisis, has acquired a 3.4pc stake that will have cost more than £7m, according to regulatory filings on Wednesday. He has acquired the stake through his vehicle, Quantum Partners. With a 3.4pc holding it is understood that Mr Soros will become Flybe’s fourth biggest investor behind the Walker family, which owns 49pc; British Airways, which holds 15pc; and management, led by chief executive Jim French, who own 7pc.

Flybe secured a £215m flotation last week despite fragile economic conditions.
The company is Britain’s biggest domestic airline and raised £60m by offering 20.3m shares at 295p.
Wednesday was its first day of unconditional trading and the shares fell 2¾ to 337¼p after a strong run in the conditional, or “grey market”.

The successful listing – equivalent to 28pc of Flybe’s share capital - is a vote of confidence in the UK IPO market, which has suffered a series of disappointments this year.

Flybe’s brokers, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on Wednesday exercised an over-allotment option that led to an additional 2m shares being issued and £6m being raised.

The airline plans to use half the proceeds of the flotation to fund fleet expansion, with the rest financing “growth opportunities”, including potential acquisitions in mainland Europe.