Flybe IPO Hopes To Raise More Than $189 Million

 - September 28, 2006, 8:36 AM

Flybe, the UK-based low-cost carrier that took delivery of its first Embraer E195 last month, plans to go public next year with the goal of raising between $141 million and $189 million. A spokesman at Dresdner Kleinwort, part of investment institution Dresdner Bank AG of London and Frankfurt, said the financial advisor will place the value of Flybe at between $283 million and $379 million.

Flybe is expected to use the money from the initial public offering (IPO) in part to fund the upgrade and expansion of its aircraft fleet. Flybe has already accepted the first airplane of a firm order for 14 Embraer E195 twinjets and has options on another 12 aircraft. The 118-passenger E195s will replace the current jet fleet of 13 BAE 146-200s and 146-300s. Flybe also operates 24 Bombardier Q400 twin-turboprop regional airliners and expects to take delivery of another 21.

The goal is a $1.5 billion, long-term complete aircraft fleet modernization strategy aimed at reducing fuel, maintenance and crew training expenses.

Flybe has announced it expects to carry more than six million passengers this year and draw in revenues of about $661 million.

Rosedale Investments, an 81-percent owner of the airline, plans to sell its stake as part of the IPO. Flybe chairman and CEO Jim French owns 9 percent of Flybe and the remaining 10 percent is held by an employee ownership trust.