Just received this email from EasyJet:
easyJet PLC agrees to aquire GB Airways Limited
easyJet PLC ("easyJet") announced today that it has agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of GB
Airways Ltd ("GB
Airways"), excluding its slots at Heathrow Airport, from the Bland Group Limited, for a cash consideration of £103.5 million.
Airways is primarily a London Gatwick based point-to-point airline operating to destinations across Southern Europe and North Africa under a franchise agreement with British Airways PLC ("British Airways"). easyJet will co-operate with British Airways to ensure a smooth and orderly transition for customers. To this end GB
Airways will continue to operate all routes under the British Airways brand until March 29 2008 after which flights will operate under the easyJet brand.
Andy Harrison, Chief Executive of easyJet:
"This is an acquisition which both strengthens our customer offering at London Gatwick, our biggest base with an attractive catchment area, and allows us to fully capitalise on the potential of the airport through a larger number of slots. The deal will bring major benefits to both easyJet and GB
Airways customers, delivering a wider choice of destinations at easyJet’s great prices, and creating clear value for our shareholders."
Kevin Hatton, Chief Executive of GB
"We are pleased that the business and customer base built up by GB
Airways will now be secured and strengthened under the ownership of the UK's largest airline by passenger numbers, and one of the industry's most powerful brands."
The acquisition is set to strengthen our customer offering tremendously. GB
Airways currently serve 31 destinations and operate 15 Airbus aircraft (9 A320s and 6 A321s) with an average age of 4.1 years, which are complementary to the easyJet fleet of 107 A319s. In total it operates 39 routes - 28 from Gatwick, 6 from Manchester, and 5 from Heathrow. The airline will be fully consolidated into the easyJet business model by Winter 2008/09.
"easyJet will co-operate with British Airways to ensure a smooth and orderly transition for customers." ouch!