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Monarch Airlines Is Sold To A Private Equity Investment Group

October 25, 2014 - On Friday, the British air carrier Monarch Airlines reported the company was sold to Greybull Capital LLP, a private equity investment group which has acquired 90% ownership interest in Monarch, with the remaining 10% to be contributed to the Pension Protection Fund (“PPF”). 

Under the new arrangements Monarch Airlines will reduce its current fleet size from 42 to 34 aircraft, reducing its Airbus inventory. The company has selected Boeing to be its aircraft supplier and has secured a new Boeing fleet order for 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft with deliveries from 2018 to 2020, providing a cost-effective and uniform fleet by late 2020.   

The company will end its long-haul and charter service by April 2015, and closure of East Midlands by the summer of 2015. The company will increase flights on its short-haul European leisure routes at five U.K. airport bases; London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, London Luton and Leeds-Bradford. 


The carrier will reduce employee pay of up to 30% and will layoff over 700 employees. The company anticipates two-thirds of its layoffs will be under voluntary terms. The company will also infuse money into the pension fund to correct its pension fund deficit and the fund will be given a 10 percent stake into the company.

The pensions regulator and the trustee of the Monarch Airlines Limited Retirement Benefits Plan has cleared the restructuring plan. The pension deficit as per the company’s balance sheet was previously £158 million and the current estimated shortfall to secure full benefits is around £660 million.

For many this announcement came as a big surprise, as the company back in December indicated the company had returned to profitability, passenger numbers were up 9.5% and the company had plans of to order 60 new aircraft worth $6 Billion.



Monarch Group CEO, Andrew Swaffield, said, “I am delighted to welcome the Greybull team as the new owners of the Monarch Group. We have a shared vision for the strategic direction and prospects for the business, and I am looking forward to working with them to implement the exciting plans for building our future. I would like personally to thank all Monarch employees who have been hugely supportive of the initiatives, which were essential to complete this transaction. I am very proud to be leading such a team, together we will be building a great future for the Group.”

“I would also like to thank Seabury for serving as our lead investment banker and restructuring advisor for what was a very difficult turnaround program executed with little time and no margin for errors. Our management team and Seabury worked flawlessly together which shows in the final results of our collective efforts. I have rarely in my career witnessed such commitment and professionalism from an advisory firm and Monarch owes them a great debt of gratitude.”
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