Monarch Seals Purchase by Greybull to Fund Discount Flights Move

Monarch Group sealed a 125 million-pound ($200 million) recapitalization from selling itself to investment firm Greybull Capital LLP in a move that will fund the U.K. charter airline’s transformation into a low-cost carrier.

Greybull will purchase 90 percent of Luton, England-based Monarch from the Mantegazza family, the parties said in a statement late yesterday. The remaining 10 percent stake will be contributed to the Pension Protection Fund.

Monarch, which transports 7 million passengers a year and owns the Cosmos holiday brand, has embarked on a shift to scheduled operations which it aims to complete by next summer. The company announced a $3.1 billion order for 30 Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 jets at the Farnborough Air Show this summer, with the narrow-body planes due for delivery starting in 2018.

“I am delighted to welcome the Greybull team as the new owners of the Monarch Group,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Swaffield said in the release.

Monarch said Sept. 24 that a sale to Greybull would probably be sealed this month after the British Airline Pilots’ Association and Unite -- which represents cabin crew and engineers -- backed pay cuts to safeguard 3,200 jobs.

Swaffield has been CEO since July after joining as managing director of the airline arm three months earlier. He previously ran Avios Group Ltd., the frequent-flyer reward program of British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA.

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